COP26 2021: What Are The Key Takeaways & Top Thought Leaders To Book

From the 31st of October to the 12th of November 2021, important discussions on the future of our planet took place at COP26, with many heads of state, campaigners and sustainability experts joining forces to discuss climate change.

From Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Sir David Attenborough, a collection of the world’s thought-leaders travelled to Glasgow to take part. With officials from locations including Canada, India, South Korea, Switzerland and more discussing climate change, COP26 produced several planet-saving goals:

COP26 Goals:

  • Secure global net-zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach – Accelerate phasing out coal, curtail deforestation, encourage investment in renewables and accelerate the switch to electric vehicles.
  • Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats – Protect and restore ecosystems and build systems to avoid the loss of lives, homes and livelihoods.
  • Mobilise finance – Countries must mobilise at least $100bn in climate finance per year.
  • Work together to deliver – Finalise the Paris Rulebook and collaborate governments, businesses and civil society to accelerate tackling climate change.


The event also saw many prominent brands act as principal partners, see below:

Principal Partners


After discussions concluded, officials then defined a list of outcomes for COP26, which were:

COP26 Outcomes:

  • Declaration on Forests and Land Use & The Global Forest Finance Pledge – Financing the protection, sustainable management and restoration of forests.
  • Congo Basin Joint Donor Statement – Supporting the Congo Basin forests, their protection and sustainable management.
  • IPLC Forest Tenure Joint Donor Statement – Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Tenure Rights and Forest Guardianship Glasgow.
  • MDB Joint Nature Statement & MDB Joint Climate Statement – A joint statement by the Multilateral Development Banks for nature, people and the planet.
  • Agricultural Commodity Companies Corporate Statement of Purpose – Recognising the vital role of agricultural commodities.
  • Forests, Agriculture and Commodity Trade – A roadmap for action
  • The Breakthrough Agenda – Working together internationally to accelerate the development of clean technologies and sustainable action.
  • The Just Energy Transition in South Africa – A political declaration.
  • Green Grids Initiative – One sun, One world, One grid & Mission Innovation… a breakthrough energy collaboration agreement.
  • International Public Support for the Clean Energy Transition – Align international public support in the transition towards clean energy and unabated fossil fuels.
  • Global Coal to Clean Power Transition & Focus of Energy Transition Council
  • The Sead Initiative
  • Just Transition Internationally – Green growth, decent work and economic prosperity to transition to net zero.
  • Education and Environment Ministers Summit – Learn for the planet, act for the climate.
  • Chair’s Summary & The Global Action Agenda for Innovation in Agriculture
  • Clydebank Declaration for Green Shipping Corridors
  • The Transition to 100% Zero-Emission Cars & Vans, Zero Emission Transition Council & the International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition
  • The COP26 Health Programme
  • Adaptation Research Alliance



Such outcomes were agreed upon by prominent thought-leaders, from heads of state to passionate climate change campaigners. Some of our speakers were also fortunate to attend!

Nigel Topping

“Achieving net-zero emissions will require transformation across the entire economy, insurance will be absolutely critical to enabling that transition and to building resilience to climate shocks.” – Nigel Topping

In 2020, Nigel Topping was selected by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the COP26 High-Level Climate Action Champion. In this role, Nigel was responsible for bridging the gap between attendees of the summit, from national governments to businesses and investors. With over 18 years of experience working across the private sector, Nigel is also the CEO of We Mean Business and is passionate about accelerating sustainability.

Christiana Figueres

“Quite frankly, there is no answer to climate change without substantially, dramatically increasing the amount of renewable energy in the global energy system… We will move to a low-carbon world because nature will force us, or because policy will guide us. If we wait until nature forces us, the cost will be astronomical.” – Christiana Figueres

The former Executive Secretary of The UNFCCC, Christiana acted as a ‘Friend of COP’ – bringing her expertise to advise the UK Government and inspire action within her sector to increase the anticipation of COP26. A thought leader in the sector of climate change, Christiana has worked tirelessly to rebuild global eco-systems, negotiating processes and impacted sectors of sustainable development, energy and land use.

Lord Adair Turner

“The probability that we face global warming caused by fossil fuels is now so overwhelming that it is legitimate to doubt the motives of those who deny it.” – Lord Adair Turner

Lord Adair Turner is a leading authority on energy, working as the Chair of The Energy Transitions Commission. Also the Chairman of Chubb Europe, Adair has advised various UK officials on everything from economics to finance and climate change. Selected to act as a ‘Friend of COP’, Adair continued to advise the UK Government at COP26 and drummed up support and action within his sector.

Paul Polman

“We cannot choose between growth and sustainability – we must have both.” – Paul Polman

Another ‘Friend of COP’, Paul Polman is the co-founder of IMAGINE, an organisation that mobilises leaders across the globe to tackle global inequality and climate change. With previous experience on the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel, where he developed the Sustainable Development Goals, Paul was the perfect choice to raise awareness of climate change and continues to help deliver the 2030 development agenda.

Alice Charles

“The solutions for sustainable urban development need to be people-centric.” – Alice Charles

The Lead of Cities & Real Estate for the World Economic Forum, Alice Charles created key discussions at COP26. Joining The World Bank Group, Alice spoke in the Moving Cities to a Cleaner Future talk, raising awareness of how cities play a critical role in climate change and climate effects. With previous experience as the EU Presidency Environmental Officer, Alice is at the forefront of environment, climate change and urban development in the public and private sectors.

Book a Sustainability Speaker

COP26 has forced us all to take a look at the way we impact the planet, whether through our carbon footprint or our compliance with sustainable practices. There are many ways you can decelerate climate change, including booking a sustainability speaker.

Browse the variety of speakers available to hire and do your part for the planet today!

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