COP26: Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day

Published on 11th Nov 2021

Welcome to the ninth instalment of our daily COP26 updates: a digest of what is on the agenda each day, and a review of the previous day's events.


Alongside the daily schedule of events, today and tomorrow the negotiating teams of the party countries will be busy reviewing and revising the draft climate agreement, which was published by the UK presidency early yesterday morning. The draft agreement consists of all the draft negotiating texts submitted and agreed over the last week and the aim is for the text to be agreed before the formal proceedings of COP26 come to an end tomorrow.

Review of yesterday's events

Wednesday's agenda at COP26 focused on transport. Transport Day brought together leaders from across the sector with the ambition of accelerating the transition to 100% zero emissions vehicles. Transport Day also aimed to galvanise action to decarbonise the harder to abate forms of transport: aviation and shipping. Highlights included:

  • 30 countries have agreed to work together to make zero emission vehicles the new normal by making them accessible, affordable and sustainable in all regions by 2030 or sooner.
  • A number of emerging markets are agreeing to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles in their markets (including India, Rwanda and Kenya).
  • A wide-ranging coalition of actors from different countries – vehicle manufacturers (including General Motors, Ford, Mercedes, BYD, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover), cities, states and regions, corporate fleet operators and investors – jointly set out their determination for all new car and van sales to be zero emission by 2040 globally, and 2035 in leading markets.
  • A new World Bank trust fund was launched that will mobilise $200 million over the next 10 years to decarbonise road transport in emerging markets and developing economies.
  • The Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council (ZEVTC) announced that it will launch its first annual Action Plan, which sets out areas for sustained international cooperation to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles during 2022. The US has joined the UK as a co-chair of the ZEVTC.
  • 18 states from across the world, representing over 40% of global aviation emissions, pledged to work together to achieve an ambitious new aviation decarbonisation target through the International Civil Aviation Organisation, as part of a new International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition. Members include France, the UK, the US, Japan and Korea.
  • 19 governments have stated their intention to support the establishment of "green shipping corridors", which are zero-emission shipping routes between two ports. This will involve deploying zero-emission vessel technologies and putting alternative fuels and charging infrastructure in place in ports to allow for zero-emission shipping on key routes across the globe.
  • The UK has pledged to shift towards clean trucks by committing to end the sale of most new diesel trucks between 2035 and 2040. The sale of heavy goods vehicles will then be banned in the UK by 2040.
  • Away from transport-related developments, late yesterday evening the US and China, who are the world's two largest emitters of carbon dioxide, made an unexpected joint declaration on enhancing climate action in the 2020s. The announcement included steps agreed between the two nations on a range of issues including methane emissions, protecting forests and phasing out coal.

On the agenda today

Today's COP26 events will be focused on cities, regions and the built environment. The events will bring together national, regional and city level leaders, alongside the private sector, to deliver deep collaboration that can accelerate climate action over the next decade. Key events will include:

  • Building a Better World Together: Accelerating Deep Collaboration for Built Environment Climate Action – In order to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement, there is a clear need for national and subnational governments, as well as the private sector, to work together. This event will bring together national governments, cities, regions and the private sector to build the collaboration needed.
  • Climate Leadership of Subnational Governments in the UK and Beyond – This event will focus on the importance of subnational states and regions working together to set and reach climate targets globally. The event will showcase the Under2 Coalition High Ambition to keep warming within 1.5°C, and will feature key coalition members such as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Racing to a Better World – The UN High-Level Climate Champions will, alongside the Secretary General António Guterres, outline the plan for the next five years for non-state actors to change gear from ambition to implementation.
  • Ministers and Mayors on Buildings as a Critical Climate Solution – Panellists will discuss built environment action at the national and local level, the need for collaboration and the need for government to provide an enabling framework throughout the value chain. The event will also feature local governments as "challengers" who can bridge the policy gap.

This article was produced with the assistance of Jonathan Ford, Trainee Solicitor

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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