Inside Cop26: Hearing people’s stories from around the world puts things into perspective

Sir David Attenborough delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021. Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Clara Felberbauer

UCC postgraduate student Clara Felberbauer is from the Centre of Research into Atmospheric Chemistry in the School of Chemistry. Vera O'Riordan is a PhD student with the Energy Policy and Modelling Group at UCC and works with UCC's Environmental Institute and the Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine.

Clara and Vera have travelled to Cop26 as part of the UCC delegation.

Together, they are writing a daily brief for


Climate Change is political.

COP26 started with speeches from the World Leaders' summit - vivid words from leaders from the global north and south, painting a pictures of different challenges but also solutions unique to each country.

Even more powerful were the activist's statements: David Attenborough gave us a warning that 'the stability we all depend on is waning', and that 'no nation is yet sustainable', but also that 'we are the greatest problem solvers' and that 'our motivation should not be fear but hope'.

But what is even more important is not who is at Cop26, but rather which leaders are not: China, Japan, Russia, Brazil.

Climate Change is personal.

Hearing about climate change on the news or talking about it in general terms is one thing, but meeting another person whose life has been affected by it is different.

Speaking to an indigenous activist from the Amazon who is facing threats fighting for her community really does put things into perspective.