This year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK will host the Conference in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.

What do we need to achieve?

  • Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach

Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century. To deliver on these stretching targets, countries will need to: accelerate the phase-out of coal; curtail deforestation; speed up the switch to electric vehicles; encourage investment in renewables.

  • Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats

The climate is already changing and it will continue to change even as we reduce emissions, with devastating effects. At COP26 we need to work together to enable and encourage countries affected by climate change to: protect and restore ecosystems; build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives.

  • Mobilize finance

To deliver on our first two goals, developed countries must make good on their promise to mobilise at least $100bn in climate finance per year by 2020. International financial institutions must play their part and we need work towards unleashing the trillions in private and public sector finance required to secure global net zero.

  • Work together to deliver

We can only rise to the challenges of the climate crisis by working together. At COP26 we must: finalise the Paris Rulebook (the detailed rules that make the Paris Agreement operational); accelerate action to tackle the climate crisis through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.

As the UN specialized agency promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development, UNIDO is committed to enabling a paradigm shift in industrialization in developing countries as a means to build low-emission climate-resilient societies.

UNIDO's projects directly contribute to achieving the targets and goals set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement as well as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. To enhance knowledge sharing and identify possible areas of cooperation, UNIDO will showcase some of these projects during a series of COP26 side events. All times in are indicated GMT.

  • 4 November 2021 - Pakistan’s efforts in transitioning from HFC to Ozone and Climate friendly alternatives
  • 5 November 2021 - Session 1 of the UNIDO Global Call for Innovative Solutions
  • 5 November 2021 - Youth in Focus
  • 5 November 2021 - Accelerating Climate Action through circular economy, a holistic approach to the long-term global goal
  • 6 November 2021 - Session 2 of the UNIDO Global Call for Innovative Solutions
  • 7 November 2021 - Launch of the Cornerstone of Rural Electrification Initiative
  • 8 November 2021 - Announcing Winners and Progress of the Challenge Program for Adaptation Innovation
  • 9 November 2021 - Workshop on Framework for Resilient Cities and Energy Transition
  • 9 November 2021 - Gender side event
  • 9 November 2021 - Virtual Gender Market Place
  • 9 November 2021 - Accelerating Innovation: Cooperation for a Net Zero Future
  • 10 November 2021 - Green hydrogen application driving growth of renewable energy and advancing inclusive energy transition
  • 11 November 2021 - Call To Action! For Ocean Energy For Resilient Economies: Establishment of the Global Ocean Energy Alliance
  • 11 November 2021 - Kick-starting construction decarbonization – creating demand for low carbon materials
  • What: Pakistan’s efforts in transitioning from HFC to Ozone and Climate friendly alternatives

    When: 4 November 2021 at 12:00 - 12:50 p.m.

    Event description: The cooling requirement in Pakistan is growing steadily. According to the US Department of Energy, Pakistan currently ranks 5th in the world for highest cooling demand. This has a significant impact on GHG emissions. As such, it is crucial to highlight the importance of phasing out of other potent gases that have Global Warming Potential (GWP) and are categorized as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) in order to drive the country in decreasing its carbon footprint and achieve its long term carbon neutrality goals. 

    Registration: Coming soon...

  • What: Session 1 on the UNIDO Global Call for Innovative Solutions in Cleantech and Sustainable Land Management 

    When: 5 November 2021 at 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

    Theme: Key R&D Needs for the Energy Transition: The role of innovation in critical sectors from sustainable electricity generation and long-duration storage to decarbonizing heavy industry

    Event description:

    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), about half of the technologies needed to reach net zero by 2050 are still in very early technology readiness levels (TRLs). In order to address the adverse effects of climate change and contribute to sustainable economic development, new technological innovations are urgently needed. The UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Germany and Future Cleantech Architects (FCA), a climate innovation think tank from Germany, have teamed up to promote private sector innovation in cleantech and present some of the most relevant findings in this side event.

    The event presents key take-aways of the UNIDO Global Call for Innovative Solutions in Cleantech and Sustainable land Management, jointly organized by UNIDO and FCA, together with UNFCCC and UNCCD. Highlighting FCA’s work during the past two years, the moderators will summarize those areas in research and development that need to be accelerated immediately in order to close the innovation gaps in climate technology. This will comprise technologies such as less-intermittent renewables or hydrogen storage as well as new industrial processes such as innovations in cement production or maritime or aviation fuels. A particular emphasis will be placed on the scalability of solutions that are still in early development stages.


    • Vanessa Voelkel, Deputy Head, UNIDO ITPO Germany
    • Peter Schniering, CEO, Future Cleantech Architects
    • Alois Mhlanga, Chief, UNIDO Climate Technology und Innovations Division (tbc)

    Watch the event here.

    This event is part of Session 2 of the topic “Innovation at the UN for 10 billion people” at the UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub (UGIH). The UGIH COP 26 Programme can be found here.

  • What: Youth side event at SDG7 Pavilion

    When: 5 November 2021 at 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

    Event description:

    Bridging the Generational Divide: Championing Youth Innovation side event is a response to Secretary-General's call, for open intergenerational dialogue, on the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly.

    It aims for an open, intergenerational discussion between youth and youth advocates in senior positions.

    Young leaders will take the stage to showcase their work on the ground and present their solutions. Youth Sustainable Energy Hub and the Student Energy will present their work and recommendations on how to achieve modern and sustainable energy for all. The panel will respond with their suggestions on how they can better enable young women and men to take the driver seat to achieve SDG 7. The discussion will then be opened to the participants. 

    Please register here.

  • What: Accelerating Climate Action through circular economy, a holistic approach to the long-term global goal

    When: 5 November 2021 at 1:15 - 2:30 p.m.

    Event description:

    Driven by Government leaders, the side event will discuss how to accelerate the global circular economy agenda in light of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report scenarios.

    Please register here

  • What: Session 1 on the UNIDO Global Call for Innovative Solutions in Cleantech and Sustainable Land Management 

    When: 6 November 2021 at 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

    Theme: Technological innovations to addressing adverse effects of climate change - an introduction to four award-winning technologies

    Event description:

    The UNIDO Global Call for Innovative Solutions in Cleantech and Sustainable Land Management attracted nearly 300 applications from private sector entities from over 70 countries, each presenting a unique technological solution to decarbonizing the four award categories:

    • Decarbonizing growing urban environments
    • Clean and efficient energy generation and storage
    • Circular production and industrial processes
    • Sustainable land management

    Initiated by the UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Germany in close collaboration with Future Cleantech Architects, UNCCD and UNFCCC, each application was carefully screened and handed over to an expert jury for the ultimate selection of the best innovative technologies.

    Meet the UNIDO Global Call 2021 award winners, who will introduce their technological solutions and demonstrate how their projects can contribute to addressing adverse effects of climate change and contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic development. The co-moderators of UNIDO ITPO Germany and Future Cleantech Architects will give guests the chance to discover new and innovative solutions to rapidly reduce existing emission levels and prevent further emissions growth. Join us and discuss with the brilliant minds behind the technologies.


    • Vanessa Voelkel, Deputy Head, UNIDO ITPO Germany
    • Peter Schniering, CEO, Future Cleantech Architects
    • Myrna Bittner, CEO and Founder, RUNWITHIT Synthetics Inc.
    • Dean Bittner, Founder, RUNWITHIT Synthetics Inc. (tbc)
    • Rainer Hoenig, Founder and Managing Director, betteries AMPS GmbH
    • Gerhard Dust, CEO, PolyCare Research Technology GmbH & Co. KG
    • Hua Cao, General Manager of International Business Department, Zhejiang Chint New Energy Development Co., Ltd

    Watch the event here.

  • What: Launch of the Cornerstone of Rural Electrification Initiative (CORE)

    When: 7 November 2021 at 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. (Reception)

    Event description:

    The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. COP26 is mobilizing the international community to address climate change and the huge challenges faced by humanity, among which energy access. In this context, access to a safe, efficient and reliable electricity is more urgent than ever. The Cornerstone of Rural Electrification Initiative (CORE) is launched to support the expansion of decentralised renewable energy (DRE) systems. Established by ICA, ARE, UNEP, UNIDO, IRENA and SEforAll, CORE offers capacity building on safety, efficiency and reliability to DRE systems practitioners, training to women and local communities on productive use of electricity, and to government agencies in developing national training and certification programmes.

    Click here to subscribe to the CORE Newsletter.

    Registration: Coming soon...

  • What: Announcing Winners and Progress of the Challenge Program for Adaptation Innovation

    When: 8 November 2021 at 3:15 - 4:45 p.m.

    Event description:

    The Challenge Program for Adaptation Innovation catalyzes innovation and private sector action in support of vulnerable populations. Open to direct submission from technology and private sector innovators, this Challenge Program supports models for scalable and bankable climate adaption solutions for adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change. Over 400 concepts were submitted to the Second Call for Concepts to this Challenge Program by a diversity of proponents. This event will share the innovative models of 10 winning project concepts for catalyzing private investment in adaptation. Emerging trends and impact potential for transformative climate adaptation impact will be discussed, drawing from learning gained through the first set of winners of this Challenge Program that were announced at UNFCCC COP25, as well as the wealth of recently submitted concepts.

    The event agenda is available here.

    Watch the event here.

  • What: Workshop on Designing the Forward Programme

    Co-organizers: UNIDO, AIGWoodInstitute for Future Cities

    When: 9 November 2021 at 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. 

    Event description:

    The workshop will work with partner cities to design a forward programme that supports cities in the Global North and Global South to develop deliver sustainability strategies, effective climate risk mitigation, and urban resilience strategies as well as focusing on Sustainable Development Goal 17.

    Registration: Coming soon...

  • What: Gender side event at SDG7 Pavillion

    When: 9 November 2021 at 12:00 - 13:30 p.m.

    Event description:

    Billions of women around the world still lack basic access to affordable, sustainable, and modern energy. This negatively impacts the enjoyment of all their fundamental human rights, their well-being, livelihoods, and climate resilience.

    Achieving SDG7 and SDG13 are therefore critical to advancing gender equality. At the same time, SDG7 and SDG13 will not be realized in a just and inclusive manner without the meaningful participation of women. However, there are barriers in access to education, finance, career advancement, and lack of inclusive representation in decision making processes. This prevents women from leading, participating in, and benefitting from the clean energy transition on a level playing field with men.

    To address these challenges, the Gender and Energy Compact has been launched at the HLDE and brings together partners that jointly commit to:
    Women having equal opportunity to lead, participate in and benefit from a just, sustainable, and inclusive energy transition, and
    Women having equal access to and control over sustainable energy products and services.

    Ecuador, Iceland, Kenya, Nepal and Sida/Sweden, and more than 35 partners from private sector, civil society, academia, youth, financial sector, and international organizations – joined under the same overall objective: to promote a just and inclusive, gender-responsive energy transition, contributing to as well as the achievement of SDG5, SDG7 and SDG13.

    During this side event we will hear voices from women energy consumers, producers, distributors and leaders in the energy sphere showing their potential to be agents of change for SDG7 and SDG13. Moreover, panellists will outline action areas that need to be addressed for enhancing gender equality and women’s empowerment as well as enhancing their climate resilience. The session will also feature statements from signatories to the Gender and Energy Compact that will present their endorsement and commitments. Finally, signatories will encourage the wider climate, energy and gender community to join this global movement and sign on to the Gender and Energy Compact. 

    Please register here.

  • What: Virtual Gender Market Place

    When: 9 November 2021 at 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

    Event description:

    UNIDO will be presenting jointly with ENERGIA and GWNET the Gender and Energy Compact as well as Gender work of the respective organizations. The Virtual Gender Market Place is part of the events organized by UNFCCC on the Gender Day during COP 26. It will take place from 15:00-18:00 (UK time) on 9 November 2021. Following the virtual launch event, participants will have the opportunity to create an avatar and explore the virtual conference and networking space. This is a great opportunity to connect with those who work on gender and climate change through the combined web-based video calling and 2-D virtual world and will bring together organizations active at the international, national, sub-national, regional or community level.

    Please register here.

  • What: Accelerating Innovation: Cooperation for a Net Zero Future

    When: 11 November 2021 at 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

    Event description:

    This event will bring together Ministers, CEOs and leaders from around the world to showcase clean energy solutions. The session includes announcements on new commitments that enhance international cooperation and ensure that we deliver against our Paris goals. Announcements will include the a public procurement pledge for low carbon steel and low carbon cement supported by UNIDO under the Clean Energy Ministerial Industrial Deep Decarbonization initiative (IDDI).

    Watch the event here.

  • What: Green hydrogen application driving growth of renewable energy and advancing inclusive energy transition

    When: 10 November 2021 at 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

    Event description:

    UNIDO will organize a side event on ‘Green hydrogen application driving growth of renewable energy and advancing inclusive energy transition’ in joint partnership with Austria’s Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy and Partners from developing and in-transition countries to bring greater visibility in green hydrogen initiatives.

    UNIDO maintains a unique mandate to promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID). The organization aims to enable developing countries to benefit from capacity building, thereby fostering the decarbonization of the industrial sector. As part of this, UNIDO has launched the ‘Global Partnership for Hydrogen Application in Industry’. Through the COP26 side-event, UNIDO aims to bring together Partners from developing and in-transition countries to bring greater visibility into green hydrogen initiatives that are planned and undertaken for advancing its uptake.

    Panel discussions would center around the energy transition as an imperative, where the increased share of renewables is a requirement to advance the technological pathway for green hydrogen production and application in areas such as hard-to-abate industries. The Panel would deliver why seizing emerging frontier technologies such as green hydrogen, would bring about socio-economic opportunities that are foreseen from harnessing the full potential for expansion of renewable energy.

    Please register here.

  • What: Call To Action! For Ocean Energy For Resilient Economies: Establishment of the Global Ocean Energy Alliance (GOEA)

    When: 11 November 2021 at 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. 

    Event description:

    This Side Event will showcase a partnership between SIDS DOCK, UNIDO and Stimson/ACRE, that will promote a Call to Action! led by Heads of State and Government from small islands and coastal cities, for the Establishment of a Global Ocean Energy Alliance (GOEA), on the margins of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP26), on 11 November 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. The GOEA is an initiative focused on accelerating the development of ocean energy projects through partnerships that mobilize technical, human and financial resources and aims to establish a global community of vested interest with the capacity to develop a pipeline of bankable ocean energy projects to serve islands, cities and coastal nations. The partners will also introduce the “Ocean Energy For Blue Economies Platform,” powered by SustainChain™, to facilitate science and technology 

    exchanges necessary for advancing ocean energy technologies and in particular, the commercial-scale deployment of ocean-based energy technologies that are appropriate to the demands in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The Platform is scheduled to be launched at the UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, on 4th November 2021.

    The “Blue Economy” concept seeks to promote economic growth, social inclusion, and the preservation or improvement of livelihoods while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability of the oceans, coastal areas and global climate. A blue economy is low-carbon, efficient, and clean. It is also an economy that is based on sharing, circularity, collaboration, solidarity, resilience, opportunity, and interdependence. The ocean makes a significant contribution to the global economy – over USD 1.5 trillion in value added in 2010. The projections suggest that by 2030, the ocean economy could more than double its contribution to global value added, reaching over USD 3 trillion, and creating approximately 40 million jobs.

    This Side Event will include a dynamic presentation of how the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is the best suited ocean energy technology for SIDS and coastal cities, and how the new SIDS DOCK, UNIDO, Stimson/ACRE partnership will lead to the identification of Public-Private funding to support the design, financing and implementation of the project pipeline development across small islands, where more than ten (10) gigawatts (GWs) of installed fossil fuel capacity needs to be replaced in the coming decade. Many of these islands also have wider opportunities for seawater desalination, district cooling, aquaculture and mariculture and mineral extraction, which can generate additional revenues to further catalyze the Blue Economy and contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build climate resilience among its 32 countries that are part of the SIDS DOCK organization.

    Registration: Interested participants in the hybrid event need to register through the SIDS DOCK Secretariat:

  • What: Kick-starting construction decarbonization – creating demand for low carbon materials

    When: 11 November 2021 at 3:15 - 4:15 p.m.

    Event description:

    This event bring together CEOs and high level representatives from initiatives working on deep decarbonization of cement, concrete and steel to highlight the role of a strong, unified demand signal for low carbon materials, such as steel and cement in achieving the net zero goals in these sectors by 2050. 

    The session will reiterate the green public procurement pledge supported by the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Industrial Decarbonization initiative (IDDI) and announce the launch of multi-stakeholder working groups to tackle the barriers to green public procurement.  It will also feature voices from industry to discuss how they are leading the shift and showcase their endorsement to work on resolving some of the challenges.  CEOs from private sector companies in the construction, automakers, and other end users will also highlighting coalitions being formed by the private sector to send a similar demand signal to producers.

    The session will include inputs and representatives from UNIDO on behalf of the CEM IDDI, the First Movers Coalition, the Pacific Coast Collaborative, the Clean Construction Forum, SteelZero and CementZero.

    Watch the event here.