A wrap-up of COP26


Politicians, government officials, activists, lobbyists, and companies have officially finalised negotiations and wrapped up COP26. A lot of decisions were made, commitments pledged, and initiatives agreed upon. Read on for a few of the key highlights.

Let's start with the positives. First, great things came out of COP26: new rules around more transparent transmission reporting and countries part of the Glasgow Climate Pact, as well as an additional 100+ countries, pledged to halt deforestation by 2030.

But unfortunately, COP26 failed to meet plenty of ambitious - but necessary - goals that are needed to deliver on a series of essential parameters. For example, many initiatives that were pledged still lack financing and hard commitments. And with the world's largest nations absent from key pledges, most initiatives will fail to share the burden of climate challenge.

The amount of work ahead for governments, financial institutions, and organisations can seem overwhelming. So if you find it tricky to grasp, you are not alone. A recent study made by Bain with senior executives of large consumer goods companies found that 100% of the interviewed prioritised sustainability. Still, only 21% considered themselves on track to deliver on their targets. Why is that?

One reason is the lack of clear, down-to-earth solutions that you can quickly embrace within your organisation. So, here's our list of inspiration and valuable point-of-views to get you started.

Make the climate part of your decisions

Whether you're designing a new piece of furniture, an in-store experience or a digital product, all your decisions have an impact on the environment. While you don't have to be overwhelmed by it, you shouldn't ignore it either. Instead, ask yourself what consequences your decisions have. Be intentional with them. Make the climate crisis part of your design. Luckily, it's not very difficult to assess the impact of your decisions. You can use simple online tools to get an initial figure and work out what to do from there. Find out more here.

Designing for the future

Designers tend to be comfortable leading change. But before jumping head-first into a new and exciting project, it's important not to forget to ask any changemakers already doing work in the field, 'How can I help?'. And 'How can I make sure that I design for the greater good?'. Read our perspective on how to stop doing harm.

Innovative design

Even if all human-made emissions stopped today, we would still need to adapt to environmental changes. But the problem is, those emissions aren't stopping. So how can you adjust? This is where innovative design comes in. The UN describe adaptation as one of its main challenges. But all challenges, by default, also present new opportunities. Design can make these new realities bearable and help find solutions that prepare humanity for sustainable futures.
Read more here.

Speculative design

Plan for sustainable future experiences. If nothing changes soon, the Planet faces a grim future. So let's design a better one together. Speculative design is a design practice that focuses on imagining and creating desirable futures using clear intentions and planning. If you're looking for tips on how to balance projective thinking with intentional planning, here's an article to get you started.

The power of context

For the longest time, designers have been part of fueling un-sustainability. It's time to take responsibility and make the triple bottom line a default part of the design process. But how? Behavioural design is here to help. Check out our perspective on this topic here.

Do you want to create a sustainable future? Let’s talk.

Lets act. Together.