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What’s on the line at COP26?

03 November 2021

With the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, or COP26, now underway, the world’s attention is focused on how the international community will come together to tackle the climate crisis.

Experts at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy have produced a significant body of work in the lead-up to this pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. Crawford scholars have been quoted widely in the media, and our thriving network of blogs and podcasts have provided a platform for important climate policy discussions amongst scholars from across the Asia-Pacific region.

Follow the links below to read expert analysis on the process of international climate negotiations, Australia’s climate policies, regional efforts to address climate change, and a number of other key issues to be addressed during the summit.


Professor Frank Jotzo and Professor Mark Howden explored whether COP26 will be a turning point in the global fight against climate change on Policy Forum Pod. They later delivered a live address at the National Press Club alongside Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick outlining their hopes and expectations for COP26.

In a recent episode of Democracy Sausage, Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd shared his thoughts on Australia’s climate policy and how he thinks it will be received at COP26.

Dr Robert Glasser joined Professor Sharon Bessell and Dr Arnagretta Hunter on a recent episode of Policy Forum Pod to discuss what’s at stake at COP26.

Australia’s climate policy and debate

Professor Quentin Grafton called on the Australian Government to take meaningful action to address the climate change-induced water crisis or “risk damaging forever the only world that we have”.

Professor Frank Jotzo and Professor Warwick McKibbin outlined that Australia must prepare for a low-carbon world economy in an article for Policy Forum and discussed the low-hanging fruit in Australia’s climate policy in a new e-book chapter.

Professor Jotzo answered some of the big questions at the heart of Australia’s climate debate in an explainer piece for The Canberra Times and wrote that Australia’s weak plan leaves the country exposed at COP26.

Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick and Dr Simon Quilty discussed the “health crisis” that awaits Australia if global temperature increases continue on a recent episode of Policy Forum Pod.

The climate in Asia and the Pacific

Dr Siobhan McDonnell and Dr George Carter, both negotiators for Pacific delegations at COP26, joined the team on Policy Forum Pod to discuss the conference and achieving climate justice for the Pacific Island region.

Dr McDonnell argued that Pacific nations can’t be left behind at COP26, while Bronwyn Powell also emphasised the importance of “Asia-Pacific perspectives and voices” in a piece for Devpolicy Blog.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna and Britain’s High Commissioner to Australia Victoria Treadell also explained why Pacific voices must be heard in international climate negotiations on Pacific Wayfinder.

Dr Jorrit Gosens discussed China’s climate targets and net zero plans during an interview on Radio National, while Huw Slater examined China’s steps towards a coal-free future in a piece for the East Asia Forum.

On Policy Forum, Pakamas Thinphanga examined why water management is becoming increasingly complicated in Thailand and Md Roushon Jamal argued that COP26 is a chance for climate-vulnerable countries like Bangladesh to secure a fair share of climate finance.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana said that Asia’s leaders cannot afford to return from Glasgow empty handed and Jeevethan Selvachandran called on Sri Lankan policymakers to prioritise climate risk.

On East Asia Forum, read about green finance and flexible energy governance in China in a series of recent pieces, and Juan Wei and Kim DeRidder penned a piece for Devpolicy about mobilising climate-resilient infrastructure in Asia.

Professor Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt also drew attention to the gendered impacts of energy transitions, as policymakers across the world look to shift their power sources away from coal.

For ongoing analysis of COP26, connect with Crawford on Twitter or check out Policy Forum, Devpolicy Blog and East Asia Forum.

You can subscribe to Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny and Policy Forum Pod on Acast, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your favourite shows.

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Updated:  23 April 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team