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New committee launches new inquiries: COP15 and COP26

11 June 2021

The new House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee is launching its first inquiries, focussing on two key global events due to take place later this year: the fifteenth meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), and the twenty-sixth UN Climate Change conference (COP26).


The Committee, chaired by Baroness Parminter, will hold its first evidence sessions on Tuesday 15 June, hearing first from Minister for the Environment Lord Goldsmith about the Government’s objectives for COP15, and then from a panel of international environment negotiators, scientists and campaigners about what we can learn from the successes and failures of previous biodiversity targets.

This will be followed in the coming weeks by evidence sessions on what needs to be achieved at COP15 and interactions with other international agreements like the Paris Agreement.

All of those sessions will lead up to a further evidence session with the Government, ahead of the event itself which is due to take place in October.


To explore cross-Government delivery of COP26, the Committee has asked a range of Government departments what they are doing to help prepare for COP26 and how they are factoring climate change into their policy decisions. The Committee plans to use the departments’ responses to inform the questions they put to the President of COP, Alok Sharma, about how he is involving departments in his preparations, and the effectiveness of cross-government working arrangements in ensuring credible domestic climate policies ahead of the conference.

The new committee

Ahead of the first evidence sessions, Baroness Parminter said:

“The Committee and I are excited to be starting our work. The conjunction of COP15 and COP26 presents a unique opportunity to take holistic action to both address the climate crisis and move the world towards a more sustainable use of natural resources. We hope to help move that critical debate forward. And with the UK hosting COP26, we know how important it is to scrutinise the Government’s preparations and policies: we take that role very seriously.

“We also have some exciting plans for what to turn to after COP26, and for making sure that our work reflects the concerns of the next generation. This is a crucial decade, and in the months and years to come we’ll be working to help Government deliver the climate and environment improvements that are so desperately needed.”

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