REN21 at COP26: bringing the renewables voice to the climate conference

Why is REN21 going to COP?

10 years ago, it was obvious that REN21 needed to be at COP, the annual international conference on climate change, when we saw that renewable energy was not seen as a key sector that could help solve problems linked to climate change.

From then on, REN21 made it a priority to attend the climate conference to share the value of renewables in addressing global warming. This year’s conference on climate change has a focus on accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. Starting today, 31 October, COP26 is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland.

For the 2021 conference, REN21 is sending a small delegation: Rana Adib, Thomas André, Jessica Jones-Langley, Lea Ranalder & Laura E. Williamson.

Contact us at if you’d like to meet us in person!

On this page…

On this page you’ll find:

  • Events that REN21 is hosting and where REN21 is speaking
  • REN21 Members’ activities at COP26

REN21 is participating in Glasgow

The events below aim to shape the debate around renewables and share their positive impact on limiting the carbon emissions that cause global warming as well as supporting adaptation efforts in response to climate impacts.

*All times are in the UK time zone

Thursday 4 November

100% Renewables: Driving the Inclusive Renewable Energy Transition

Disrupting the Status Quo: Accelerating the Global Energy Transition for a 1.5°C Future

  • 12:00 -15:00 (UK time) – Location: Global Climate Action Zone, Action Room 1, The Hydro
  • Energy Action Event hosted by the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action
  • Join the Marrakech Partnership energy thematic group and COP26 High Level Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping for an exploration of how the global energy transition can help deliver a climate-safe future and examples of progress to the Race to Zero. Covering decarbonised power, green hydrogen, moving beyond fossil fuels, just transition and more. Rana Adib will moderate the session, Decarbonised Power: Achieving a Renewable and Efficient Power System.
  • Several REN21 members will also participate: Climate Action Network International, Denmark, European Commission, Global Solar Council, GWEC, IEA, IRENA, Norway, SEforAll, United Arab Emirates, UNEP and USA.
  • The event will be livestreamed. Watch the event live here.

Strategic Intelligence: Shaping the Climate Conversation

  • 18:00 – 18:30 (UK time) – Location: SE4All SDG7 Pavilion
  • Hosted by REN21
  • This event will look at how strategic intelligence can broaden and diversify the conversation around renewables, driving uptake and supporting climate objectives.  REN21 will present its dynamic Influence Mapping Tool (an artificial intelligence-based system) which identifies key influencers, players and strategic entry points, allowing for the critical positioning of renewables. This session will explore how this strategic intelligence can support the renewable energy community in amplifying and strengthening activities in their sphere of influence.  
  • All events at the SDG 7 Pavilion will be livestreamed; click here to register.

Friday 5 November

Énergies Renouvelables pour la Résilience Climatique Urbaine en Afrique

  • 11:00 – 12:00 (UK time) – Location: IFDD Pavilion
  • Hosted by REN21
  • This event will take place in French : Les municipalités du monde entier ont pris des mesures pour accélérer l’adoption des énergies renouvelables à l’échelle mondiale. L’événement se concentrera sur la façon dont les villes sont et peuvent accroître leur ambition et leur action en matière de climat, contribuer à la décarbonisation locale et nationale et aux objectifs de développement (durable). Les efforts des villes africaines en particulier seront mis en évidence.
  • The event will be livestreamed here.

Reshaping the Urban Energy Landscape: Citizen’s Perspective

  • 16:30 – 18:00 (UK time) – Location: Russian Federation Pavilion
  • Big cities all around the world are frontrunners in adopting innovative energy policies that help tackle climate change. Yet, however different their challenges may be, a dialogue between active citizens is essential to reimagine large cities’ energy mix. To do so, the REN21-inspired youth-led initiative gathered young citizens to discuss the ways of reshaping the urban energy landscape in such cities as Milan, São Paulo, and Amsterdam. At COP26, EYEN and BRICS YEA will share key findings and invite young people to discuss the results during a live expert discussion via an interactive voting platform. REN21’s Lea Ranalder will be a panelist.
  • Online interactive event participation is welcome; register by clicking through to the 5 Nov event here.

Monday 8 November

Building an Emission Free Future: The 2030 Challenge

  • 11:00 – 11:30 (UK time) – Location: UNFCCC Action Hub
  • Action Hub event hosted by REN21
  • Learn about and discuss the main challenges and progress in decarbonizing the world’s buildings with renewable energy, featuring a number of best-practice policy examples.
  • All events held at the Action Hub are live streamed on the UNFCCC webcast page.

Energy Compact Announcements

Build Back Better: What Will it Take to Achieve a Zero-Carbon, Sustainable African Economy?

  • 15:00 – 16:15 (UK time) – Location: Online for COP delegations
  • Official COP26 Side Event hosted by REN21
  • Population growth and rising energy demand are opportunities for local and national governments in Africa to advance economic development. Renewables can ensure that this development is clean and sustainable. Join us to discuss what a renewable energy future in Africa looks like and what policies, investments, infrastructure and technical capacity are needed to make this happen. Speakers will include African City officials and network operators, Global Renewables Congress, REN21, Sustainable Energy Africa and World Future Council.

Tuesday 9 November

Net Zero Future: Building Strong Coalitions to Transform Cities with Renewable Energy

  • 12:30 – 13:45 (UK time) – Location: UNDESA SDG Pavilion
  • Hosted by REN21
  • This event will look at how we can build strong coalitions to support cities in scaling-up renewables to build a net-zero future. This event will bring together different stakeholders in the city ecosystem:  local government, transport, energy provider to share their perspectives on the current status, challenges and action needed to increase the deployment of renewable energy in cities. The focus of the event will be on an interactive exchange of perspectives, with input from the audience via Q&A.
  • This event will be livestreamed; click here to register.

Sustainable Mobility and Just Recovery: Radical Collaboration for an Effective Transformation

  • 15:00 – 16:15 (UK time) – Location: Clyde Auditorium
  • Hosted by Asociación SustentarSLOCAT, UIC and UITP
  • Rana Adib will participate in the discussion on the importance of transport actors working closely with other sectors in order to scale up ambition and accelerate action.

Wednesday 10 November

Sustainable Mobility for All Through Clean and Affordable Energy

  • 9:15 – 10:15 (UK time) – Location: SEforALL SDG 7 Pavilion
  • Hosted by SUM4ALL
  • During this side event, discussants will consider energy implications of the transition to a low carbon and sustainable transport system, focusing on the shift to new mobility solutions, business models for financing public transport infrastructure, and planning for multimodal freight solutions, all with an eye to reducing energy demand and emissions. Rana Adib will detail the status of renewable energy drivers for the transport sector.
  • All events at the SDG 7 Pavilion will be livestreamed; click here to register.

Press Event on Solar Cooking & Renewable Energy

  • 10:15 – 10:45 (UK time) – Location: East Lomond Suite in the Blue Zone
  • Hosted by Solar Cookers International
  • During this side event, Rana Adib will speak about renewable energy and solar cooking.

Thursday 11 November

Keeping 1.5°C Alive: How Can We Pull Back from the Brink?

  • 16:45 – 18:00 (UK time) – Location: Online for COP delegations
  • Official COP26 Side Event hosted by WWF and Climate Analytics
  • The event will outline the latest IPCC science and explore what needs to happen both at global and national level post-COP26 to put the world on track to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature goal. Panelists will cover the need for a rapid transition to a renewables-based energy system and the role of nature in Paris Agreement compatible climate action – tackling head on a triplet of tough conversations that need to be had as we look forward to 2022. Confirmed speakers include Dr Carl-Friedrich Schleussner (Climate Analytics), Laura Williamson (REN21), Vanessa Pérez-Cirera (WWF) and Leo Hickman (Carbon Brief).

Launch of the Clean Heat Forum – Accelerating Heating Decarbonization in Buildings

  • 17:00 – 18:00 (UK time) – Location: Global ABC Buildings Pavilion Climate Pledge Theatre Hall 5
  • Hosted by GlobalABC, RMI, Scotland DECC and UK BEIS
  • The event will announce a new building heating decarbonization forum under the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) and invite other interested governments and organizations to join. The event will show how some countries, regions, cities, industries are already championing on this agenda and underline the need for collaboration to accelerate a global shift towards heating decarbonization for achieving the Paris Agreement. Rana Adib is a panelist.
  • All Building Pavilion events will be livestreamed from the GlobalABC website.

REN21 Members have activities at COP26

REN21 Members are industry associations, governments, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs, and academic and scientific institutions. Members who wish to add their content to posts like this should contact

To read announcements by our members, including declarations made in the context of COP26, check out the October 2021 Members News blog post.

*All times are in the UK time zone

1 Nov 11:00 – Launch of a Call to Action | IRENA Coalition for Action

3 Nov 15:00 – Providing Renewable and Environmentally Friendly Energy, Ensuring Long-term Water Availability and Preventing Water Related Natural Disasters | Hosted by the International Hydropower Association, the IEA, the Government of Tajikistan and the Stockholm International Water Institute at the Water and Climate Pavilion. Click for details.

4 Nov 12:15 – A Vision for Sustainable Hydropower that Meets Climate Targets | Hosted by the International Hydropower Association and the Government of Costa Rica at the Nordic Pavilion. Click for details.

5 Nov 17:30 – Lessons for a Net Zero Carbon Grid | Hosted by the Renewables Grid Initiative in the Green Zone at the EU Pavilion. Register to view online.

8 Nov 9:30 – Energy Empowering Employment | Hosted by Power for All in the SDG 7 Pavilion. Click here for the livestream.

8 Nov 16:40 – On the Road to a Just Transition: Lessons from Local Gender-just Climate Solutions | Hosted by Solar Cookers International with the Women and Gender Constituency in the Clyde Auditorium. Click for details.

9 Nov 16:30 – Strategies for Rapidly Scaling Solar Investment | Hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies, International Solar Alliance and World Resources Institute at the Commonwealth Pavilion. Click here for the livestream.

11 Nov 13:00 – Solar Cooking Improves Health and the Environment | Hosted by Solar Cookers International and the World Health Organization at the Health Pavilion. Register to view online.

Some REN21 Members are hosting whole pavilions or have long lists of events. Check out what the larger renewables community is doing!

Buildings Pavilion

GlobalABC is hosting a series of events in line with the vision of the Building to COP26 Coalition. All events will be streamed online. Read the programme.

Climate Action

Over the course of the two weeks in Glasgow, CAN International and its members will be hosting a series of events and press conferences. Read the programme.


The International Hydropower Association is participating in and hosting a series of events in line with their vision of sustainable hydropower. Read the programme.

SDG 7 Pavilion

Sustainable Energy for All is coordinating the SDG7 Pavilion. All events will be streamed online. Read the programme.

Solar Cookers

Throughout COP26, SCI is hosting a number of events and press conferences supporting solar cooking. Read the programme.

Sustainable Low-Carbon Transport

There is a long list of transport-focused events led and supported by SLOCAT or its partners happening at COP26. Read the programme.

Wind Pavilion

GWEC and the global wind industry will be at the heart of COP26 advocating for greater ambition and action to scale up wind and renewable energy. Read the programme.

Some of the REN21 Members have made declarations in the context of COP26; read all about them on the October 2021 Members News blog post.