Across the last 10 years, sustainable business practices have become more of the norm and more in the public eye. While the climate was a fringe issue for many years, consumers and businesses are becoming more conscious as society demands it. And that will be even further encouraged when COP26 takes place this November.

COP26 is the latest yearly global climate conference, held in the U.K. From 31st October – 12th November. This year Glasgow will host leaders from across the business and political world in an attempt to accelerate climate action.

Businesses will have a keen eye on the conference, with decisions made there often dictating legislation and trends for the years in the future. But with the COP26 sessions yet to take place, what should small business leaders and sole traders be looking out for?

Legislation and Framework

This year’s COP is being hailed by many as the last big chance for meaningful climate action. The last ‘big’ COP conference was COP21, when the Paris Agreement was reached. These accords stated an agreed move forward for an aggressive reduction in carbon.

This stands to reason that there could easily be further legislation and frameworks on a more targeted basis. This could include sanctions or incentives for businesses adhering to industry-wide changes. This could particularly focus on automotive and transport sectors and industrial markets that are larger-scale polluters.

Thought Leaders

The truly exciting thing about these conferences is that the world gets to hear successes and easily implementable actions from business leaders who have already done them. While the bigger things are worked on by Government, there will be plenty to catch up on that will inspire you.

There will also be considerable coverage across the media, including BBC. If you’re wondering how you can help, you’ll only need to turn on the TV at some point in the two-week period of COP26, and you will find someone discussing how you can help.

Bold Promises

One of the criticisms from smaller businesses is that their voices aren’t being heard in the climate conversation. This point will probably be made during the conference fortnight. The Prime Minister and other world leaders may start to make bold promises about businesses big and small.

A sticking point could be on cost, where many small businesses and sole traders consider the cost of being green to be large burden. This is where some financing and incentivizing may be needed by Governments across the globe.

Key Dates to Look For During COP26

This section depends on your industry. Just a quick search through the COP website lists several interesting dates and subjects:

3rd Nov: Responsible Business Conduct and Climate Action for net zero commitments

3rd Nov: Sports for Climate Action

4th Nov: The Glasgow Declaration: A commitment to a decade of climate action in tourism

10th Nov: Climate Action in the Meetings, Conferences, and Events sector

COP26 is likely to be an important 12 days across the world, but there are a number of industries that can benefit from the conference directly. Keep an eye out for these dates and more over the conference.

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