Wind turbines in a field

COP26 (31st October – 12th November) has put in place an ambitious agenda to cover what organisations of all shapes and sizes can do to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement. This article takes a look at that agenda, picking out the main topics businesses should be looking out for at COP26, as they attempt to inform their net zero strategies.


The focus of the conference with regards to this topic will be how to drive the global transition to zero emission transport. Within this, how businesses can be helping reach this goal through their commitment to greener logistics is sure to be a key topic of discussion. For businesses looking to expand their green agenda, transport and logistics is a crucial element to consider. The electrification of delivery fleets, the manufacturing of zero emission vehicles, and cross-organisation collaboration through EV100 membership will all be discussed at COP26. Each of these are areas businesses should keep a keen eye on during the conference, as they will impact logistics strategies going forwards.

The discussion of greener transport at COP26 aligns with the UK Government’s commitment to the area. The Government has not only set a target date of 2030 for the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars, but has also published a ‘Transitioning to zero emission cars and vans’ delivery plan, to be implemented by 2035. This outlines the enhanced capital allowances available to companies when buying new zero emission cars for business use, as well as the expansion of zero emission vehicle infrastructure across the country. Meanwhile, the Electric Fleets Coalition continues to work with the government to improve the environmental sustainability of business transport and logistics. With significant governmental commitments to this area, it is vital companies consider a zero emission transport plan for their business.


COP26 will also go into depth on how the global transition away from coal and towards clean energy alternatives. It will place businesses at the heart of this strategy by encouraging companies to join RE100 – a commitment to transition to using 100% renewable energy. The conference also emphasises corporate energy efficiency by promoting membership to EP100. Topics will include the shift to LED lightbulbs, with EP100 highlighting that if companies globally made the switch to LED light bulbs, they would save around 403 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. To facilitate innovation here, COP26 has established the Clean Energy Transition Council, whose reporting (which is set to be discussed on 4th November) will lead the way for future moves towards clean energy.

The shift to renewable energy sources is one already at the centre of the UK Government’s ‘Build Back Better’ programme. Last year, the Government announced plans to create 60,000 jobs in wind energy by 2030, while 2020 saw renewable energy form a larger part of the UK’s total energy production than fossil fuels for the first time. Given the Government’s shift towards clean energy sources, companies need to consider how they align themselves with this strategy, and the COP26 discussions can provide insights here.


COP26 will outline the importance of reversing biodiversity loss caused by unsustainable agricultural, forestry, and land use practices – all key sources of carbon emissions. As with transport and energy, the conference will highlight the role businesses play in this agenda. This will include highlighting to companies the business case for endorsing the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and making ambitious commitments to build nature positive economies. It will also emphasise the importance of inter-organisational collaboration and knowledge-sharing to promote solutions for biodiversity protection. For those looking to strengthen this aspect of their green agendas, leaders will be sharing their thoughts at COP26 on 6th November.

Discussions at the conference again follow on from commitments made by the UK Government. In 2020, Boris Johnson committed the Government to protecting 30% of land-based habitats, while officials are currently in talks with WildEast about a significant re-wilding initiative. For land-based British businesses, reversing biodiversity loss will therefore be a crucial aspect of net zero ambitions.

Each of these topics form a key part of the COP26 agenda and the UK Government’s strategy to meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement, and as such will inform successful business plans going forwards. For further information on how your business can design plans within each of these areas, please contact our Business Navigator for the Green Agenda, Hugh Williams at [email protected].