The United Nations has convened world leaders many times before to discuss climate change, dating to the 1990s. The next meeting, scheduled for November in Glasgow, may be the most important ever. U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, says COP26 will be the last chance for the world to avoid climate disaster.
COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and this year’s is the 26th. Officials from 197 countries gather in one location for a fortnight of negotiations aimed at solving the climate crisis. World leaders set the tone, then negotiators thrash out the details of a communique. COP26 was due to be held in 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. The U.K., which holds the rotating presidency along with Italy, took the lead in organizing the conference.