In 2021, the UK will be hosting the United Nations climate change conference, known as COP26.

Infographic advertising the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021

More about COP26

Since 1995, world governments have met every year to negotiate a response to global climate change. These 197 nations and territories, signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, are represented at the Conference of the Parties (COP), responsible for reviewing the implementation of the Convention. This year will be the 26th meeting of the COP, hence COP26.

The two week conference in Glasgow will involve around 200 presidents and prime ministers and some 30,000 delegates reporting back on progress since the Paris Agreement and, hopefully, making some new decisions on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impact that climate change is already having.

COP26 and the University of Leeds 

The Priestley Centre has initiated a University taskforce to support activities both in the run up to COP and at the conference itself. This group is developing a University of Leeds COP26 delivery plan with a number of key actions and policy engagement activities essential for positioning the University’s work alongside other leading HE institutions from across the UK.

Research and innovation from the University of Leeds can contribute to important discussions and negotiations taking place in the run up to COP26 and during the summit in Glasgow. We want to highlight the best climate-related research outputs from the University on the global stage.

We also want to celebrate our ambitious net-zero commitments and explore opportunities to extend this ambition not only on campus, but also locally, nationally and internationally.


The University of Leeds is convened a week of events in April to build local to global ambition for COP26 and beyond. This exciting programme of activity focused on climate action across different scales and collaboration amongst a range of stakeholders. You can now watch the event recordings.


A recording of our first webinar discussing UNFCCC, COP, and the role Leeds can play in the run up to COP26
Read our blog that was first published by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit
Listen to an audio recording of this webinar that outlines the role that researchers can play in raising the ambition for climate action in the lead up to COP26. It includes a keynote presentation from Dr Martin Frick, Senior Director for Programmes Coordination at the UNFCCC.
An article from Professor Richard Beardsworth, Head of School - School of Politics and International Studies. Published by Open Access Government.
Watch RINGO Co-Focal Point Tracy Bach discuss the place of research in the UN climate change negotiations and highlight how researchers can most effectively engage in them.

COP26 UK Universities Network

The University of Leeds is part of a growing group of UK-based universities working together to help deliver an ambitious outcome at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow and beyond. It aims to improve access to evidence and academic expertise for the UK Government, NGOs and the international community. Read more about the network here.

The network is publishing a series of briefings pertinent to themes of the negotiations:

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