Islands at COP26
Island Innovation is the go-to place for island news at COP26!
The vast majority of our community will not be physically present at COP26, but the decisions made by world leaders there will have significant long term effects for our global audience, especially those living on islands and coastal areas. During COP26 we are going to present an “Island Space” where we will share key insights and developments related to remote, rural and island communities. Through our global network, we will help to connect the COP26 conversation to a truly global audience!
It is vital to consider the unique climate-related challenges facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which experience extreme vulnerability to environmental disasters and rising sea levels. This is why the influence of organisations such as the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is so crucial in helping to push for SIDS unique needs to be recognised. Given that 20% of UN member states are part of AOSIS, there will be many high-level discussions relating to the effects of climate change on these islands. Members of AOSIS have a strong block voice and will collaborate together to try to ensure that their interests are met.
But what about the islands not part of AOSIS?
Many islands are not members of AOSIS. Instead, they form territories or regions that are part of the larger states that represent them. The interests of these islanders are often substantially different to the states that govern them, as islands are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than continental areas. We want to ensure they have a voice too and that their unique voices are heard!
What is the COP26?
COP26 is the 26th edition of the annual ‘Conference of the Parties’ and will be held in Glasgow, UK in November. The COP is the most important decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international treaty in the global fight against climate change.
For almost three decades, world governments have been meeting yearly to create binding international agreements designed to tackle the global climate emergency. The 197 countries that have officially agreed to the Convention are known as Parties to the Convention. The ultimate aim is to prevent “dangerous human interference with the climate system”.
Why is COP26 so important?
During the past three decades that annual COP summits have taken place, the issue of climate change has risen dramatically in international importance, and the need to halt and reverse the negative effects are now understood to be a global priority. Because of this, COP26 is believed by most experts to have a unique urgency to it, rather than being simply another international summit.
This decade could be the world’s last chance to halt an irreversible runaway climate catastrophe, which is predicted to have devastating effects on all life on our planet.
A pivotal decision was made by leaders at the 2015 COP21 in Paris to aim to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. This was the first climate agreement of its kind and became known as The Paris Agreement.
The vast majority of experts state there will be a significant loss of life and damage to livelihoods for every fraction of a degree that the global temperature increases.
Although The Paris Agreement was an unprecedented achievement at the time, leaders must agree at COP26 to take much more ambitious and bolder steps, if they hope to be able to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Key themes for COP26
Secure global net zero and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
Urgently adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.
Green transformation of financial systems.
Work together to deliver.
“Please, get involved in discussions with politicians and policymakers. Make clear to them the full scale of the threat of climate change, and the crisis that we will unleash if we do not act in time. And show them the benefits of the resilient, zero emission economy, whether for jobs, GDP, nature or health. Help governments to see clearly that they can, and they must, take critical steps now.” –
COP26 President Alok Sharma
The Accelerator is an entrepreneurial engine that catalyzes and accelerates priority initiatives toward a Climate-Smart Zone, delivering resilience, social development, and broad-based economic growth for the Caribbean.
Our central objective is to help transform the region’s economy by fast-tracking sound public and private investment opportunities that support climate action and economic growth through sustainable development.
Drawing on the deep experience of our nations and institutions, a group of twenty-seven visionary Caribbean Governments, alongside some of the largest global companies, financial institutions, and foundations have joined The Accelerator to make the Caribbean a beacon of climate-smart development.
Racquel has enabled leadership and organizations around the world to go beyond their current vision and stay on the cusp of what’s next.
As the newest UN Global Ambassador in the Race to Zero, Racquel has become a critical advisor for: driving the shift to digital; process automation and implementing key turnaround projects that heighten customer engagement and strengthen organizational performance.
Known for her ability to build coalitions, Racquel’s success in the public and private sectors has allowed her to drive important advancements on world-changing topics that require regional consensus, such as climate change, sustainability and building resilience.
Walter H Roban JP, MP, serves as Deputy Premier of Bermuda and is the Minister of Home Affairs. A man with a passion for politics and community, he has a career spanning nearly 30 years.
Minister Roban was appointed a Government Senator in 2003 and held the posts of Junior Minister of Health & Family Services, Tourism & Transport, and Education & Development until 2006.
In 2007, Roban was elected to the House of Assembly as representative for Constituency 15, Pembroke East. He served as the Junior Minister of Labour, Home Affairs, and Housing from February 2008. Roban was appointed to Cabinet in June of 2009 as Minister Without Portfolio, responsible for Municipal Reform. He served as the Minister of Health, and Minister of Environmental Planning and Infrastructure Strategy from 2009 until 2011. Roban later served as Minister of Transport from June 2012 to December 2012. He successfully retained his seat in the December 2012 General Election and held the Shadow Minister positions of Public Safety, Home Affairs, and National Security from 2012 to 2017.
Since the his party returned to Government in 2017 Minister Roban served as Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs and is currently the Minister of Home Affairs. His portfolio includes the Departments of Energy, Planning, Environment and Natural Resources, Land Title and Registration, Land Valuation, Consumer Affairs, the Registry General, and the Regulatory Authority. Minister Roban also has been given responsibility for some international matters, specifically as it relates to Bermuda’s relationship with the Caribbean region.
Francesco Sindico is the Founder and Co-Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He is also Associate Professor (Reader) in International Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde Law School. He leads the EILEAN initiative at SCELG where he researches about law, islands and sustainability. As part of his work on islands he has collaborated with the Scottish Government in the implementation of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 and is now a member of the National Islands Plan Delivery Group. He has coordinated with Island Innovation a global survey on Islands and COVID-19 and is also co-leading with Island Innovation and the University of Prince Edward Island the COVID-19 Island Insights series. Francesco is also very active in the climate law field and is the Founder and Co-Director of the Climate Change Litigation Initiative (C2LI). He has also worked extensively on international water law, an area where he provides legal advice to international organisations and governments before international courts. You can find more about Francesco’s island related work here
Ms Charlin Bodley is the Sustainable Energy Project Development and Gender Expert with the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), where she is primarily responsible for the establishment and operation of the CCREEE Project Preparation Facility (PPF).
As the gender expert, she is also engaged in mainstreaming gender into all the Centre’s work, ensuring that gender and youth responsive programmes and initiatives are implemented, as a critical contribution to the centre’s operations. For more than seven years prior, Charlin worked as an Energy Specialist with the Government of Saint Lucia as a consultant in the area of sustainable energy. A certified project manager, she engaged in energy planning, policy development and the management of public sector renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
Further, Charlin is the founder of the Women in Geothermal Energy (WING) Caribbean Chapter, with a goal to influence, diversify and accelerate the development of the resource in the region. She has also served as programme manager for the Women in Renewable Energy Network (WIRE), managed by a collaboration between the Clinton Climate Initiative and Caribbean Electric Utility Services (CARILEC).
Charlin holds a Masters of Engineering (MEng) degree in Energy and Environmental Management from the University of Flensburg, Germany; a post-graduate diploma in Geothermal Project Management and Financing from the United Nations Geothermal Training Programme in Iceland, and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Environmental Engineering from Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico.
Ray is the Group Head of the Investment Banking for Republic Bank, the leading capital markets advisory in the Caribbean. In his role, Ray is responsible for mergers, acquisitions, and debt capital markets and structured finance. Previously, he was a Vice President at Citigroup’s Private Bank, where he structured alternative investment products for professional family offices. Before Citi, Ray worked at Morgan Stanley, where he ran a $13 billion alternative investment platform for high net worth clients to invest in private equity and real estate opportunities. Ray holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University of New York.
Ray serves on the Board of Literacy Incorporated, a non-profit organization based in New York that promotes reading for children in low-income communities throughout New York City. He is also the current President of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of the Caribbean.
As a builder of high return organizations over the past 40 years, leveraging his degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Washington his leadership experiences have yielded lifelong partnerships, world class awards, and sound returns to the stakeholder’s goals.
His fields of experience have ranged from: infrastructure, transportation, IT, renewable energy, aerospace, drone applications, advanced materials manufacturing, international business development, applied research, private public partnerships, startups, intrapreneur diversification, capitalization, general management, economic development, applied research, sports marketing, and client adoption.
When he is not building, he is on the beautiful oceans of the world sailing with his friends and competitors, racing against time. Growing up on and in the Great Lakes and the waters of the Caribbean he has turned his leadership skills toward building abundance into coastal communities to address the realties of climate change.
Awards / licenses:
Smithsonian Institute laureate- computer science, CREF Renewable Energy – resilience challenge, Frost Sullivan – IT customer value, JEC Advanced Composites – applied innovation, ACES Civil Engineering – ITS Safety and productivity. WSSRC ocean racing – world speed record, UCLA – cost accounting certificate, UC Davis – sustainable management certificate, USCG merchant mariner license.
A lover of nature, an accomplished public heath physician, a person of faith, a father, grandfather, and woodworker, Dr Hospedales founded EarthMedic and EarthNurse to mobilise health professionals and others to address the climate and health crisis. He chairs the Defeat-NCD partnership executive committee, addressing NCDs in low-resource countries. He was inaugural Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and coordinator chronic disease prevention and control in PAHO/WHO. A graduate of UWI and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health, Dr H has published more than 100 papers and reports.
Bethany Walsh is currently managing the Climate Change Message in a Bottle project at the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance. Hailing from the Isle of Arran on the west coast of Scotland, and having recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh in Sustainable Development and Geography, this project draws together her ‘islandness’ and dedication to climate action. Climate Change Message in a Bottle is bringing the messages of young islanders to COP26 through creative learning and film. Also a traditional musician, Bethany can be found playing fiddle across Glasgow and Scotland, and believes that music and the arts are an important way of understanding belonging, history, and place attachments
David Gumbs is a Director for the Africa, Islands, and Southeast Asia Program at RMI where he works closely with governments and utilities to achieve their renewable energy targets. David specializes in building resilience and reducing energy costs through renewable energy microgrids.
Before joining Rocky Mountain Institute, David founded Daavi Business Solutions (DBS) where, as CEO, he provided business advisory and renewable energy solutions to clients in the US, Africa, and the Caribbean. David is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Anguilla Electricity Company, Ltd. (ANGLEC). He received several awards for his leadership and contributions to the energy space including both an individual and team awards for the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum’s (CREF) – Island Resiliency Action Challenge and the iChange Nations Regional Statesman Award for his outstanding leadership to rebuild Anguilla’s electricity grid to 100% in 100 days post Hurricane Irma.
As the Chief Executive Officer of the Anguilla Electricity Company, Ltd (ANGLEC), he successfully implemented renewable energy technologies – achieving one of the region’s highest renewable energy penetration levels in 2016. David developed and implemented ANGLEC’s aggressive public relations and marketing strategy, incorporated several industry leading solutions such as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), grid automation, work order automation, vehicle fleet management and an aggressive undergrounding initiative into ANGLEC’s operations.
David is a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master of Science in Accounting, and a graduate of Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Africana Studies and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Justine Lucas is the Executive Director of Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation which focuses on climate resilience and climate justice. Additionally, she is currently a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, she was the Global Director of Programs for Global Citizen where she oversaw the Global Citizen Festival, events, programs and strategic partnerships and was a Producer of the 2012 – 2015 Global Citizen Festivals in Central Park and the 2015 Global Citizen Earth Day event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. She is an expert in campaign mobilization, strategic partnerships & developing and leveraging creative campaigns around complex policy issues. Additionally, she has consulted for both international and domestic nonprofits and worked extensively on grassroots program development around human rights and access to justice issues in Cameroon. She has a B.A. in History and Anthropology and an M.A. in Global Affairs and Nonprofit Management, both from New York University. Justine resides in New York City, is an avid traveler, runner, writer and connector of people.
Andy Mackinnon has worked in creative & collaborative film and contemporary art since the late 80’s, and lives on the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. He was director/cinematographer/producer of the Scottish BAFTA nominated £300k budget feature documentary TRANSITION, the first Scottish documentary to make the official selection at IDFA in 2000. In 2000 he worked with Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre to make the participatory documentary feature Passing Places – The Real Outer Hebrides. He is passionate about environmental issues and the islands where he now lives.
UistFilm, based in North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, was formed in 2013 by Andy Mackinnon within Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust, and produces a wide range of media content. Andy produced and directed UistFilm’s first broadcast documentary commission, the widely acclaimed An Dotair Mòr (2014) and recently collaborated with Joshua Bonnetta, whose Uist-shot feature An Dà Sheallach | The Two Sights premiered at Berlinale FORUM in 2020. The FAODAIL | FOUND Outer Hebrides Archive Film project seeks to digitise and disseminate indigenous archive film of the islands as currently all of the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive relating to the Outer Hebrides is from outsider perspectives.
Nicola Sturgeon is Scotland’s first female First Minister and the first woman to lead any of the devolved UK administrations.
Born in Irvine in 1970 and educated at Greenwood Academy, she studied law at the University of Glasgow where she graduated with LLB (Hons) and Diploma in legal practice.
Before entering the Scottish Parliament as a regional MSP for Glasgow in 1999 she worked as a solicitor in the Drumchapel Law and Money Advice Centre in Glasgow.
She is currently MSP for Glasgow Southside having been, before boundary changes, MSP for Govan between 2007 and 2011.
In government she served as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing between May 2007 and September 2012 and then Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities with responsibility for government strategy and the constitution until November 2014. Throughout this period she also served as Deputy First Minister of Scotland.
She became leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) on November 14, 2014 and was sworn in as First Minister on November 20, 2014. She lives in Glasgow with her husband Peter Murrell.
Messages from Scottish and International Island Schoolchildren to COP26
Read all of the latest and most important COP26 news articles and conversations here.
Activists push to delay most high-profile climate summit since Paris agreement
Environmental activists, including Greenpeace and the Climate Action Network, around the world are calling on the United Nations to further delay a pivotal climate conference scheduled for this fall.
Scottish campaigners condemn Cop26 as ‘the most exclusionary ever’
Activists say almost 2,000 delegates on waiting list for place to stay owing to lack of affordable accommodation.
Britain Talks COP26: New insights on what the UK public want from the UN climate summit – Climate Outreach
This report is designed to support UK climate communicators and campaigners in engaging people around COP26 in ways that resonate across society
Milestone as Pacific Islands Leaders meet with the COP26 President-Designate
COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma’s Chair’s summary from the Pacific-UK High Level Climate Dialogue, where Pacific Islands Leaders were brought together ahead of the UN climate change summit in November.
Frequently Asked Questions
Island Innovation’s mission is to drive sustainable change across islands and rural areas around the world. The devastating consequences of climate change due to rising greenhouse gas emissions are deeply concerning to us, as they have particularly severe consequences for islands. We are committed to helping our audience stay informed about this critical issue and doing everything in our power to help tackle the climate crisis!
COP26 is a crucial international summit that has the potential to turn the tide on global warming and avert the worst effects of climate change. We are planning to use this important opportunity by combining our knowledge of resilient, sustainable islands, with our proven ability to successfully collaborate with island communities around the world, to amplify the voices and knowledge of islanders to a global audience.
The island space is totally free!! You can sign up here, and all you need to take part is an internet connection and the Zoom webinar software.
All are welcome to participate in the island space – feel free to invite friends and colleagues. Participants can take part in every session, or simply choose the sessions most relevant to them, and are all encouraged to join the social media conversation.
The island space will be broadcast LIVE, taking place over multiple days in various time zones. Ideally, we want guests to join live as there will be opportunities to ask questions and interact with fellow attendees. However, all sessions (excluding the networking sessions) will be recorded and made available online a few weeks after the event.
Island Innovation is a global network that connects island stakeholders through digital communication and events. Our platform helps drive sustainable change across island and rural communities by sharing innovative projects and best practices. Island Innovation is a social enterprise that works with private sector companies, governments, universities, NGOs and utilities to connect them with the island stakeholders vital to the success of their sustainability projects.
We have limited opportunities for sponsors of specific sessions or the event as a whole. If you are interested in sponsoring the event, contact us here, and we will be in touch.