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What next after COP26?

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As the dust settles on the COP26 discussions in Glasgow, it’s time to assess and reflect on what was – and wasn’t – achieved.

For almost 30 years, governments and policy makers have been meeting at the Conference Of Parties (COP) to try to solve the problem of climate change. In that time, it has gone from a seemingly distant issue to an imminent existential threat.

Paris 2015 was the first major COP event to feel significant to the wider population. There, governments agreed to limit global warming to below two degrees, with an ultimate goal to keep it to 1.5 degrees. To achieve this, countries would adapt to the impacts of a changing climate, and make funds available to deliver on those aims.

Six years on from the Paris Agreement, COP26 felt like a crunch point: it was essential for the assorted countries to make progress and outline a plan that would further limit emissions.

Now that COP26 is over and done with, is the new agreement enough? This podcast explores what happened at Glasgow and what it means for business and the accountancy profession.

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Richard Spencer, Director of Sustainability, ICAEW


  • Kate Levick. The Associate Director, Sustainable Finance, at the leading climate change think tank E3G. Kate leads E3G's activities in Sustainable Finance. She is responsible for overseeing E3G’s work on public and private finance including systemic financial reform and is a veteran of many COP meetings.
  • Mark Gough. The CEO of the Capitals Coalition, a collaboration of businesses and other organisations from across the global economy focused on embedding social, human and natural capital into organisational decision-making. Mark has worked extensively in the private sector, leading programs and strategy for the Crown Estate and Reed Elsevier (now RELX), as well as advising many more. 
  • Jessica Fries. Jessica is Executive Chair of Accounting for Sustainability. Established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2004, its aim is to transform finance to make sustainable business, business as usual. While at A4S, Jessica has been responsible for establishing the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), as well as A4S’s CFO Leadership Network and capital markets programme. 


Natalie Chisholm

Episode published: 29 November 2021
Podcast recorded: 25 November 2021

All views expressed on this podcast are those of the contributors and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICAEW or its members.

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