COP26 has officially started, bringing together thousands of world leaders and climate delegates to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention.

What is COP26?

Conference of the Parties, often abbreviated to COPs, are global climate summits that the United Nations has been organising for the past thirty years. They bring together world leaders from every nation and provide a chance to discuss and accelerate plans to tackle climate change.

This year will be the 26th annual summit, giving it the name COP26. It is being hosted by the UK and is taking place in Glasgow, this year’s summit (delayed from 2020) will see world leaders arrive for twelve days of talks from October 31st to November 12th.

What is the Paris Agreement?

COP26 isn’t being viewed as ‘just another’ international climate summit. Most experts believe COP26 has a unique level of urgency, to understand why we need to look back at COP21 which took place in Paris in 2015.

COP21 resulted in a legally binding international treaty, signed by 196 parties who committed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, preferably limiting to 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial levels. The treaty seeks to make capital available to deliver on these aims and supports businesses to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.

Out of this the Paris Agreement was born, where countries committed to bringing plans forward to reduce their emissions. It  was also agreed that these plans would be updated every five years to ensure ambition levels on this key topic remained high.

This year’s summit, six years after COP21, will focus on the commitments made by world leaders and businesses. So far the commitments made are not sufficient to keep global warming under the most dangerous impacts of climate change, therefore COP26 and the plans that follow will be crucial for the next decade.

Why COP26 is important to NorthEdge

At NorthEdge we take our responsibilities as investors seriously, working to build better businesses that strive to continuously improve their impact on people and the planet. We do it because it’s the right thing to do, and because we know it makes businesses more valuable for all stakeholders.

We recognise that government policy alone isn’t going to ensure we meet international climate goals. As investors, we have an integral part to play to help migrate to a low carbon future – through the businesses we invest in and the importance we place on climate risk and opportunity with our portfolio companies.

Last year we were proud to be a launch signatory of Initiative Climat International (iCI), a global community of investors with a collective commitment to understand and reduce carbon emissions of private equity-backed companies. Today we are joined by over 90 firms representing over $700 billion of global Assets Under Management (AUM) with a shared ambition of building and managing climate-aligned and climate-resilient portfolios.

We also recognise that our biggest influence is through our portfolio, and as such we are committed to sharing knowledge, tools, experience, and best practice to help us build better businesses.

Read more on our approach to taking responsibility in our latest ESG report

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