Specialists Present on Their COP26 Experience

Dec. 3, 2021
On November 19, the WRRC hosted Betsy Wilkening, president of Polar Educators International, and Kristen Poppleton, senior director of programs for Climate Generation, for a Brown Bag webinar on their experiences at the United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26). Wilkening and Poppleton attended COP26 as delegates from Climate Generation, a Minnesota-based organization that works to empower individuals to act against climate change in their communities. The presentation began with an explanation of what the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) does, including organizing the annual COP. Wilkening then outlined the three overarching goals of COP26: to limit warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade, to create a climate finance system to support developing nations hit hardest by climate change, and to develop a whole-of-society approach to solving this global problem. Poppleton then explained Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), which entails empowering all members of society to engage in climate action.
Poppleton and Wilkening shared stories about their time at COP26, highlighting some of the sessions and events they attended. Sharing videos and photos of the conference and other events, the presenters gave webinar attendees a sense of what it was like on the ground in Glasgow, Scotland. To close out their presentation, Wilkening gave an overview of the Glasgow Climate Pact, and highlighted some of the areas where the agreement fell short. She circled back to the three goals of the conference and discussed to what extent those goals were met, after which Poppleton provided a final overview of the good, the bad, and the ugly from the conference.