Insight: Issue 71 (17th November)
COP26 is finally over.
And yes, we’re still talking about it.
Today we’ve got: a round-up of everything that was agreed at COP26; a summary of the new ‘Net Zero Carbon Events’ pledge, plus news of the first events companies to sign up; tips for staying accountable after attending a conference (*ahem* this might be one for COP26’s world leaders to peruse); and a look at Sephora’s virtual beauty playground, SEPHORiA, because we needed something light and fluffy to finish us off.
COP26: what was agreed at the climate summit?
Since we’ve been banging on about it for weeks, we’d be remiss not to share a final round-up of what was agreed at COP26. The headline news is the Glasgow Climate Pact: a global agreement reached during the summit that aims to reduce the worst impacts of climate change. Although not legally binding, the pact will define the global agenda on climate change for the next decade:
- Emissions. It was agreed that countries will meet next year to pledge further cuts to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) to try to keep temperature rises within 1.5C – which scientists say is necessary to prevent a ‘climate catastrophe’.
- Coal. For the first time at a COP conference, there was an agreement (albeit, a weak one) to ‘phase down’ the use of coal – which is responsible for 40% of annual CO2 emissions.
- Developing countries. The pact aims to significantly increase funds for poorer countries, to help them cope with the effects of climate change and make the switch to clean energy.
- Fossil fuel subsidies. World leaders agreed to ‘phase out’ subsidies that artificially lower the price of coal, oil, and natural gas – though no firm dates have been set.
The downside to all of this is, of course, that many leaders and campaigners say the pact does not go far enough. You can find a full summary of the COP26 summit here.
UFI signs pledge for ‘Net Zero Carbon Events’
Next up, another promise in light of COP26. UFI – the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry – has signed the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge: a joint commitment across the events and meetings industry to achieve the targets laid out in the Paris Climate Accord. The pledge was presented in Glasgow on 10 November, committing organisations to achieve net zero by 2050 (at the latest) and halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
At the time of launch, there were already more than 100 founding signatories, showing large-scale commitment and support for this important initiative from all corners of the events industry. You can find the nitty-gritty here.
Olympia London one of first UK venues to pledge
Aaaaand Olympia London are not wasting any time, becoming one of the first venues in the UK to take the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge before the close of COP26. As for next steps, the venue will provide a clear roadmap before the end of 2023 demonstrating how they will achieve net zero status, and progress against this roadmap will be reported at least every two years. Siân Richards, Head of Sustainability for the venue, says Olympia London will be a visible and vocal advocate for sustainability – aiming to drive momentum across the whole industry:
“For over a decade, Olympia London has proactively committed to advancing green practices in-house and in the industry by collaborating with our partners, clients and industry peers. Committing to net zero today is an important step forward in playing our part in creating a more sustainable industry. We look forward to working with all of our industry partners to achieve this goal.”
How to stay accountable after a conference
Although this next article isn’t directly related to COP26, the word ‘accountability’ does feel particularly relevant at the moment… Special Events has shared their top tips for staying accountable after attending a conference – which is easier said than done when you return to an inbox that’s bursting at the seams and a mile-long to-do list! Nevertheless, this checklist will guarantee post-conference follow-through and that all-important ROI:
- Identify your business needs. Ask yourself what you hope to gain from the experience – what would help your business the most, where can you use the most help, is there specific knowledge you’re seeking? – then turn those answers into goals.
- Review your goals while on site. Start by reviewing your goals at the beginning of each day, then let them guide you in every decision you make; from the talks you choose to sit in on, to the networking events you choose to attend.
- Determine your motivation triggers. Everybody finds motivation in their own way – some people are self-motivated, while others rely on external motivation. You’ll need to figure out what keeps you going to ensure you stay on track and reach your goals.
- Find an accountability partner. If you think you’ll struggle with motivation, enlist a willing colleague to be your accountability partner – acting as a cheerleader for your big goals, and ‘checking’ in regularly to help you maintain focus.
Welcome to Sephora’s virtual beauty playground
And last for today, we can’t resist a bit of event inspo to lighten the mood. Sephora recently held its SEPHORiA: Virtual House of Beauty experience – hosted in a 360-degree virtual environment, complete with expert-led demos, masterclasses, quick-fire Q&As, exclusive live and pre-recorded content, an avatar DJ, prizes, games, and photo ops galore!
Previously held in 2018 and 2019 as a live and ticketed event, the digital edition of SEPHORiA was the beauty brand’s biggest virtual event of the year – designed to be enjoyed by anyone, from anywhere, for free. Read all about it here.