PEAK Urban at COP26

The pandemic-delayed 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) taking place from 1 to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, will be one of the most critical and urgent events of 2021.

A key task for the COP is to review the national emission inventories submitted by Parties, and to then assess the effects of the measures taken and the progress made by countries. Effectively, the conference is a very public showcase of how countries are increasing the scale of their commitments to address the climate emergency.

PEAK Urban researchers at COP events

PEAK Urban researchers will be present at a number of events throughout the two-week gathering, focusing on issues such as informality, urban health, climate justice, equity and equality.  The COP organisers have for the first time dedicated one day of the conference, 11 November, to cities and the built environment

Michael Keith, Director of PEAK Urban, describes the research project's role at the COP conference;     

"We are all aware now of the urgency of the climate emergency. Rapid change is required and PEAK Urban gives an analytical lens to better understand the city as a critical starting point for action. Cities are complex and open systems; they are characterized by what is generally called ‘lock-in’ and path dependency, that most straightforwardly means that global history, global geographies, matter  - the particular histories and particular geographies of individual cities makes a real difference to how they can address, should address, might address their futures amidst this climate crisis"

Our policy manager Francisco Obando, says

“PEAK Urban research findings have implications for action, more than “what” to do, we give a framework for “how” to critically asses how any given intervention will shape a city. We propose people use  a PEAK Urban lens as they intervene in cities globally for a transition to a climate resilient city."

Urban Informality and Inequality -  a call for global climate justice 

This eventorganised by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), in partnership with Cities Alliance and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), takes place in the Green Zone at COP26, and brings together international speakers from local and city governments; central governments; research communities; and civil society to discuss climate justice and the importance of taking account of the cumulative risks created by conditions of urban informality, inequality and climate vulnerability in developing effective responses to climate change. The event will be held concurrently in person and online, with an interactive panel discussion. PEAK Co-Investigator Aromar Revi will participate in this panel.

More information on the Green Zone ‘Urban Informality and Inequality: a call for climate justice’ event can be found here:

Three events on 11 November which has been declared Cities Day at the COP, involving PEAK Urban:

Advancing Equity in Cities—The Bedrock for Transformative Climate Action on November 11th, 11:00 to 12:30 GMT hosted by World Resources Institute at COP26 at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Pavilion (#92), Hall 5, SEC close to the main corridor in the Blue Zone, and streamed online at the GEF COP26 website.

To accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and multilateral environmental agreements, our planet needs just, low-carbon, and resilient cities. Hosted by WRI at the GEF Pavilion, with heads of institutions, mayors, and community leaders, this event will speak to the critical role of equity in cities for accelerating climate action, the broader institutional messages that need to be advanced at this COP, and how to scale solutions. This session will touch on the findings of the newly released full World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City series and discuss transformative solutions for integrated planning, equity, gender, resilience, urban land management, finance, data, governance, and more. More importantly, this also offers the opportunity to advance collaboration and strategic partnerships—both new and old—to include new actors and themes that are important in this COP.

‘Voices from the community shaping resilience enhancing infrastructure' will share international examples of people-centered design and adaptation to enhance resilience and offer support and solutions to both policymakers and private sector investors. The event will take place in the Blue Zone at 19.15 on 11 November as part of the Cities, Regions & Built Environment Day as part of the Resilience Hub during COP26. This will include PEAK research with communities in Itagui, Medellin. 

Understanding Systems and Tools for Change in Cities - The Bedrock for Transformative Climate Action’ – This event brings together PEAK Urban with the Oxford Martin School, World Resources Institute (WRI), Climate Sense, and UK Research and Innovation (URKI) to launch a framework for change based on the PEAK Urban and WRI’s above-mentioned report Towards a More Equal CityThe event will take place online at 22.30 on 11 November 


This news page is being regularly updated with our latest research, commentary, news, and events in the run-up to and during COP26. More more detail please go to our Events page and also follow our PEAK Urban Twitter feed.