The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP26, took place in Glasgow, Scotland, between 1 and 12 November 2021.

The summit was hosted jointly by the United Kingdom and Italy. It was the fifth United Nations climate change summit to take place since the landmark Paris Agreement emerged at the end of COP21 on 12 December 2015.

The Grantham Research Institute was engaged in a range of activities in the lead up to and during COP26, including academic research, policy analysis and events. This page provides details of these activities and background information about COP26.

Events during COP26

Monday 1 November 2021

2:00 pm, Key note: Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance: what works and what doesn’t? A Strategic Evidence Roadmap. Resilience Hub Event
Featuring Swenja Surminski

Tuesday 2 November 2021

2:30pm-4:00pm: The power of data in decision-making and for public understanding of climate change
COP26 Science Pavilion
Featuring: Timo Leiter

The session, organised by the Met Office, will showcase and facilitate discussion on the power of bringing high-quality, trusted, relevant and timely data and evidence together to provide greater insight for monitoring and tackling the impacts of climate change. Innovative solutions to improving the accessibility and navigability of climate change information will be presented, supporting maximum audience reach and providing a coherent UK climate change narrative at local, regional and national levels, and in line with global targets.

Visit the Met Office website for further details on this event
A live stream of this event will be available here

Wednesday 3 November 2021

2:00pm-3:30pm, How Can Africa Adapt to Climate Change?
Online event
Featuring: Timo Leiter

This event invites leading global experts to discuss how Africa can best adapt to climate change. It will explore priorities for different regions, assess the opportunities and challenges in current thinking and approaches, and ask how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected adaptation trajectories, including on issues around cooperation at regional and global levels. This event is organised by the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa at LSE.

Register for this event on Zoom

Thursday 4 November 2021

9:00am-10:30am , Green Bonds Panel, Part of the Finance, Governance and Sustainability event organised by the Impact Investing Institute.
University of Glasgow
Featuring: Nick Robins

Register for this event here

11:30am—12:45pm, Launch of the Adaptation Gap Report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) -an official side event of the UNFCCC Secretariat
Featuring: Timo Leiter

Further details of this event are here

Friday 5 November 2021

Experts Panel: Scaling-up Paris Agreement Implementation through Climate Legislation
10:15 am – 11:25 am, University of Glasgow
Featuring: Alina Averchenkova and Catherine Higham
This expert panel session will address the following questions:

  • How to translate the Paris Agreement into innovative sectoral and cross-sectoral climate legislation that builds on good practices and lessons learned?
  • What has been learned from national experiences with legal and regulatory instruments incentivizing a low carbon and climate resilient transition and how can these be taWeaken into account in emerging markets?
  • What mechanisms can be used to strengthen accountability for implementation of climate change legislation and policies?

This panel session is taking place during the Climate Law & Governance Day 2021, organised by the Climate Law and Governance Initiative (CLGI), at COP26.
For further details and registration information visit the event web page

Experts Panel: Rising Temperatures, Expanding Human Rights and the Obligations of States and Private Actors for Global Climate Justice
10:15 am – 11:25 am, University of Glasgow
Featuring: Joana Setzer

This panel session is taking place during the Climate Law & Governance Day 2021, organised by the Climate Law and Governance Initiative (CLGI), at COP26.
For further details and registration information visit the event web page

Saturday 6 November 2021

Climate Change Legislation, Litigation and the Rule of Law 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Featuring: Alina Averchenkova, Robert Carnwarth, Catherine Higham, Joana Setzer

This half day event features leading experts in climate litigation and legislation. They will be addressing issues related to climate change legislation, litigation and the rule of law.

Monday 8 November

New York Times Climate Hub – Climate Court: Cases of Climate Justice 12:00pm – 12:45 pm
Featuring: Joana Setzer

In this session, leading climate activists and lawyers will present some of these cases, assessing the harms and risks that were involved and how justice was sought.

Further details and registration

Tuesday 9 November

10:00am-11:00am, Climate change, food insecurity, and child health
COP26 Health Pavilion
Featuring: Elizabeth Robinson,

As part of this event Dr Shouro Dasgupta and Professor Elizabeth Robinson will present new findings that highlight and quantify the negative health impacts that can be attributed to climate change on child health and food security, focusing on Burkina Faso, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia.

Register here to attend the event in person
Join this event online (viz Zoom)

Wednesday 10 November 2021

3:30am- 5:00am, Sustainable trade and peatland management for emissions reduction and community livelihoods

Indonesia Pavilion, The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) Glasgow  and Auditorium Gedung Manggala Wanabakti, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Featuring: Elizabeth Robinson,

This session will explore different approaches to address tropical forest sustainability in Indonesia, such as community-based peatland restoration, emission reduction and carbon trading, as well as sustainable agriculture commodity trade, all contributing towards biodiversity conservation, community livelihood enhancement, and emissions reduction.

Elizabeth Robinson will be speaking on ‘Global (The UK and EU) trade system for the biodiversity conservation and sustainable development’.

This event is organised by The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF).

Register to attend

From pledges to action: Governance for the effective implementation of the Paris agreement – UNFCCC side event
6:30 pm – 7:45 pm
Blue zone, Lomond Auditorium and on-line

Featuring : Alina Averchenkova

This event will present new research on credibility of implementation of the Paris agreement and the role of national institutions and share practical experiences from India, the European Union, South Africa, Spain and Latin America. 

Friday 12 November

9:00am-10.45am LSE Financing Just Transition Launch
Federated Hermes Learning Zone
Featuring: Nick Robins

Evaluating climate change adaptation and climate action in the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) – What have we learned? A dialogue with evaluators.
GCF-IEU pavilion event at the Korea pavilion

Featuring: Timo Leiter

Investments in adaptation and resilience are of keen interest to the climate community in general and COP26 in particular. The Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU) of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) recently conducted an Independent Evaluation of the GCF’s Adaptation Portfolio and Approach as well as an Independent Evaluation of the GCF’s investments in Small Island Developing States, which looks at what it takes for the GCF – a young, large and ambitious climate fund – to contribute to adaptation interventions with scale, depth and duration in developing countries as well as the needs of vulnerable countries, such as the SIDS. The role of adaptation is also of interest to other institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval), who also have ongoing work relating to climate change adaptation and/or climate investments. The event will thus provide an opportunity for the audience to hear about the recent learnings from these organizations’ work on climate change adaptation and investments. To exchange ideas with and hear from the panel members on how some of the findings and insights from the IEU’s adaptation evaluation are useful and relevant to their work and to the broader climate change/climate finance community.

Post-COP event

COP26: where do we go from here? Expert panel event

A panel of experts from LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment discussed the events from COP 26, how much progress was made, and what the critical next steps are for the world if we are to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

Recordings of past events

In Conversation with John F Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate – 28 October 2021
Join us for this event just days ahead of the start of the COP26 summit at which US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will deliver remarks before taking audience questions.

Just Zero – a Virtual Conference on Financing the Just Transition25-27 October 2021
The aim of the Just Zero conference is to bring together some of the key activities that are underway to mobilise the financial sector in support of a just transition and build a momentum for change heading into the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

15 years on from the Stern Review: economics of climate change, innovation, growth26 October 2021
To mark the 15th anniversary of the publication of the landmark The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Nicholas Stern reviews progress and looks forward to the prospects of success at COP26 and beyond. 

Global Trends in Climate Litigation – Lessons for COP26
2 July 2021, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

A Lecture by Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change
3 February 2021, 12pm – 1pm
An audio recording of this event is available here

The road ahead to COP26 – video
16 December 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Featuring: Lord Stern of Brentford, Archie Young, Pete Betts, Selam Abebe, Dr Alina Averchenkova
This panel discussion looks forward to the UK hosting of COP26 and considers key priorities & challenges for the UK presidency.


In the lead-up to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow we will be producing a short series of videos focusing on some of the key issues that are likely to be addressed at the talks. The videos are presented by experts from the Grantham Research Institute.

Nicholas Stern – Climate Finance and the COP26 Climate Summit

In this video Nicholas Stern explains why finance is central to efforts to tackle climate change, outlines recent developments in relation to climate finance and considers what progress could be made in addressing the issue during the COP26 summit.

Loss and damage and COP26: Swenja Surminski

Swenja Surminski, Head of Adaptation at the Grantham Research Institute, explains the concept of loss and damage, the challenges it poses and what we can expect from the COP26 climate summit.

Adaptation and COP26 – Timo Leiter

Timo Leiter explains the importance of the adapting to the impacts of climate change and outlines what progress may be made in addressing the issue at the COP26 climate summit.

News and commentaries

Lord Nicholas Stern responds to final COP26 decision (November 2021)

Statement by Lord Stern in response to speech by Narendra Modi at COP26 (November 2021)

Scaling up finance for the just transition beyond coal (October 2021)

Net zero will require the biggest economic transformation ever seen in peacetime, says Nicholas Stern (October 2021)

Domestic limits to fossil fuel production and expansion in the G20 (October 2021)

Biden’s move to re-join the Paris climate agreement boosts our chance to tackle the climate crisis – Lord Stern (published in The House magazine)

All to play for on the road to COP26 – Pete Betts (December 2020)

Aligning finance with the Paris Agreement – cutting through the noise – James Rydge (December 2020)

Policy analysis

Beyond the $100 billion: financing a sustainable and resilient future (November 2021)

15 years on from the Stern Review: the economics of climate change, innovation, and growth (October 2021)

Cutting Carbon in the Time of COVID (September 2021)

Re-evaluating the changing geographies of climate activism and the state in the post-climate emergency era in the build-up to COP26 (September 2021)

Aligning finance with the Paris Agreement: An overview of concepts, approaches, progress and necessary action (December 2020)

An analysis of the Trump Administration’s economic and policy arguments for withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change (August 2020)

The economic case for the United States to remain in the Paris Agreement on climate change (August 2020)

Written evidence submitted to the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee for its inquiry into the UK ‘Net Zero’ target and its hosting of the UN Climate Summit in 2021. (April 2020)

COP26 Universities Network Briefing on COVID-19 (April 2020)


What is COP26?

What is the Paris Agreement?

What is the state of international climate talks?

COP26 Universities Network

The Grantham Research Institute at LSE is part of the COP26 Universities Network – a growing group of more than 55 UK-based universities and research centres working together to raise ambition for tangible outcomes from the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference. The Network will create lasting partnerships and legacies that reach beyond this single event.

Keep in touch with the Grantham Research Institute at LSE
Sign up to our newsletters and get the latest analysis, research, commentary and details of upcoming events.