October 28, 2021
COP26 Conference and what it means for sustainability
On Monday, Glasgow will be hosting the biggest and most important event in our sustainability calendars, the COP26 conference.
Much has been said in the build-up to COP26, but from our perspective, we hope that this event provides the chance for world leaders to come together in such a way that we can begin to turn the tide on climate change. It will provide the perfect chance for world leaders to not only represent their communities but also put the world back on a sustainable path for good.
As an ethical clothing company that strives to give back to the community, we see COP26 as an important date in our calendar.
Nick Fletcher, our founder, comments on COP26 and how it aligns with our values:
‘The importance and significance of COP26 simply cannot be overestimated. It is a pivotal moment for humanity in our fight against climate change. Like millions of people around the world, we are hoping that it will be a turning point and offer a clear path to achieving a sustainable future - a future in which we learn to nurture the natural world instead of simply exploiting it.
As a brand, we're working hard to minimise our impact on the environment. From the materials we use to the practices we employ, we're proud in our own small way to do our bit by offering men a sustainable alternative when it comes to buying clothing.’
What is COP26?
COP26 is the 2021 edition of the United Nations annual climate change conference. COP stands for ‘Conference of the parties’. These meetings are among the largest international meetings in the world. The negotiations between governments are complex and involve officials from every country as well as representatives from civil society and the global news media.
What happens at COP26?
Activity at a COP takes place in two different zones - the Blue Zone and the Green Zone.
The Blue Zone is for the UN body – tasked with coordinating the response to the global threat of climate change. Delegates meet for formal negotiations and informal discussions. These delegates could be United Nations workers, related organisations and agencies, or members of the media and non-profit organisations observing.
The Green Zone is for the public, where there will be a vast range of events including workshops, art exhibitions, presentations, tech demos and performances.
What are the main goals of the conference this year?
1. To secure global net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century and limit increases in temperature rises to 1.5 degrees. Actions to achieve this include phasing out coal and in the case of the UK, ending the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
2. To work towards protecting communities and natural habitats, by protecting and restoring ecosystems. This also includes building infrastructure that promotes sustainable agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and lives.
3. To ensure that countries mobilise finance for these actions. Developed countries must deliver promises to raise at least 100bn in climate finance per year.
4. To learn how to work together. To build collaboration between government, businesses and civil society to deliver the goals faster.
Why is it important to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees?
Anything higher than 1.5 degrees would be hugely detrimental to our planet. 1.5 degrees will still have an impact, but it will be much more manageable. There will still be risks of food and water shortages, but lower risks to economic growth and fewer species at risk of extinction. With a rise of 2 degrees, a third of our population would be subjected to severe heat resulting in health problems and in many cases, death.
All warm water corals would be destroyed, adversely tampering with our planet’s biodiversity (if you aren’t familiar with this then please check out our blog – Waking Up to Biodiversity). This would also force the Arctic Sea to melt entirely for one whole summer every decade. Can you imagine the devastating impact this would have on the wildlife?
With the loss of ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic, sea levels will continue to rise in years to come. This is why the UN is dedicated to the goal of holding temperature rises to 1.5 degrees; threats to human health from air pollution, disease, malnutrition and exposure to extreme heat would be much lower.
A lot of progress has been made to bend the curve closer to 2 degrees, but we are aware that SO much more action is needed to push it down to 1.5. We need to cut our emissions in half over this decade.
So what can we do?
It’s not all down to our world leaders to fix the problem. Every single person on the planet has a part to play. COP26 intends to start a conversation on tackling climate change, and that includes us – the general public - too.
Use the hashtag #OneStepGreener to showcase how you are doing your bit.
We and the UN want to celebrate the small changes we make and inspire others to join in. Whether it’s opting to walk to school, choosing to cut down on meat or even just choosing a sustainable T-shirt – every decision we make contributes to a greener planet.
If you didn’t catch our blog on fast fashion consumerism – be sure to give it a read. This is where we discuss the ongoing problem and how to become and an eco-conscious shopper.
Here at Absolutely Bear, we pride ourselves on being a sustainable clothing company, and in every step of our production process to our packaging and distribution, we aim to be as sustainable as possible. As a fashion brand, we need to be aware of the damaging impact of fast fashion and are proud to have worked hard to eradicate these processes to make our ethical clothing. We provide full transparency on these methods, to help our customers understand how important sustainability is to us. It is important to make