Glasgow Glasgow

Arup at COP26

Explore highlights from our programme of activity at the UN climate change conference.

Explore highlights from our programme of activity at the UN climate change conference.

Our experts are participating in many events and exhibitions during COP26, 1-12 November 2021. You don’t have to be in Glasgow to hear how governments, cities, businesses, and civil society organisations are joining together to agree how we will collectively reduce emissions and build climate resilience. We will update the information outlined below regularly, providing details about how you can join in online.


November 2 09:30 - 11:30

The future of offshore wind – the UK success story

COP 26 Energy Transition Hub

With an ambition to reach 40GW of offshore wind by 2030, offshore wind is a key part of the UK’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the UK Prime Minister’s vision for a Green Industrial Revolution. Our session experts will discuss cost reduction, solving key barriers, opportunities with supply chain and jobs, as well as the international tools available to help other countries realise their offshore wind ambition.


Beccie Drake

Offshore Wind Digital Lead

November 4 12:00 - 13:00

Design & planning of nature-based solutions to address climate change

Blue Zone, Water Pavilion

This event will include discussion of a series of infrastructure projects designed to strengthen the resilience of climate-vulnerable communities in Peru to raise awareness of the opportunities with integrating water management in forests and landscape restoration in addressing climate change. These projects form part of the Peru Reconstruction Project, and are being planned, designed, and delivered by a team that includes Arup, Gleeds, and Mace, working for the Peruvian Government’s Authority for Reconstruction with Changes.


Alejandro Gutierrez

Arup Director

November 4 15:30 - 17:00

Scaling up nature-based solutions for adaptation to climate change

Blue Zone, Water Pavilion

Nature-based solutions (NbS) are effective no-regret measures that can help address the challenge of climate change adaptation. Now that the IUCN global standard for nature-based solution has been made public, this session will present case studies of nature-based solutions that were implemented because of their climate change adaptation benefits.

Find out more

David Hetherington

Water Expert

November 5 09:30 - 12:00

Hitachi European Innovation Forum – working towards net zero

Glasgow Marriot

This session of the Hitachi European Innovation Forum will explore future approaches to clustering ports, airports and other transport infrastructure in ways designed to accelerate the energy transition and the decarbonisation of cities.


Alan Thomson

Global Energy Leader

November 6 10:00

Circular solutions by communities, business and youth: scaling up to reach the 1.5-degree target

Blue Zone, EU Pavilion

Starting with inspiring stories from community, business and youth perspectives, we showcase how the circular economy contributes to climate targets. The subsequent panel will discuss how to integrate and upscale circular solutions into national climate strategies like NDCs and NECPs. Interactive tools will be used to engage all stakeholders needed for kicking off circular climate action.


Richard Boyd

Circular Economy Expert

November 8 09:00 - 10:30

Roundtable on collaboration for adaptation in China

China Corporate Pavilion, Blue Zone

This session will highlight adaptation practices and explore opportunities for multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration in China. China Environmental Grantmakers Alliance (CEGA) will release the outcomes of their Study on CEGA Funding Strategies to Climate Change Adaptation, with representatives from the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, Global Centre for Adaptation, Chinese foundations, the private sector, and other international organizations.

Find out more

Mark Fletcher

Global Water Leader

November 8 17:15 - 18:30

Net zero buildings: where do we stand?

Blue Zone, Buildings Pavilion

This interactive session will focus on three areas critical to determining the buildings sector’s future success in planning, designing, constructing, and operating net zero carbon buildings: integration of whole life carbon assessment; agreeing a universal definition for net zero buildings; and the need for decarbonization targets for buildings projects, which will require greater collaboration across the building system value chain. Members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development will share progress on their efforts, within the context of recently-published research co-authored by Arup.

Find out more

Chris Carroll

Buildings Director

November 9 07:00 - 08:00 GMT / 18:00 - 19:00 AEDT

Art, science and the race to zero

Online – Live broadcast from Sydney and Glasgow

Join us on Science and Innovation Day at COP26 for a behind the scenes view of the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Polar Zero, an immersive science-engineering-art exhibition taking centre stage at COP26 in Glasgow.

Explore how accelerating collaboration in the arts, science and engineering industries can help us rise to the climate challenge and work together to deliver a sustainable future.

Find out more

Graham Dodd

Global Materials Leader

November 9 11:15 - 12:45

Urban resilience & nationally determined contributions: how should urban resilience practice evolve to help unlock the full potential of NDCs?

Blue Zone, Resilience Hub

Many cities have embraced urban resilience techniques to understand, plan, and act in the face of complexity. Yet many questions remain as to how these approaches truly equip cities to deal with the challenges of climate change. This event will take stock of the strengths of urban resilience practice as well as what needs to evolve to unlock the full potential of urban action in support of NDCs


Pasquale Capizzi

Climate and Disaster Resilience Leader

November 9 14:00

Adapting to climate change

Green Zone, National Grid Pavilion

With the recent IPCC report painting a stark picture about the climate impacts ahead, how do we make sure we’re building in the right places and protecting our critical infrastructure at National Grid? Join us for this panel with Arup as we explore our work to map and protect National Grid assets across the US and UK against a range of climate change risks. We’ll discuss how our industry-leading Climate Change Risk Tool will help shape our industry’s response to climate change

Watch online

Juliet Mian

Infrastructure Director

November 9 14:30 - 15:30

The business case for circular economy

Blue Zone, Business & Buildings Pavilion

Approximately half of all extracted resources globally are used for the built environment, with 11% of global GHG emissions being attributed to the embodied carbon found in construction materials. This session, organized by WBCSD, Arup and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, will bring together a panel of high-level professionals to illustrate the opportunity of circular solutions in terms of innovation, new business models, CO2 reduction from materials, biodiversity protection and benefits for communities. Participants will learn how to make use of circular economy tools in the built environment and understand the business case.

Find out more

Eva Hinkers

Europe Region Leader

November 9 15:00 - 17:00

Renewable energy systems development in harmony with people and nature

Energy Transition Hub

There is an interest across the world in ensuring that renewable energy development takes place in harmony with the world around it, be that people, other parts of the economy or the natural environment. The UK has shown that this harmony has been possible, and will continue to be as the UK looks to develop 30GW of onshore wind by 2030, and around 100GW of offshore wind by 2050. Further to this, there’s a growing interest in the full-life-cycle of wind turbines, and the sustainability of the sector itself. In this session, RenewableUK are bringing together two panels of experts to discuss each of these topics.


Alan Duckworth

Renewable Energy Expert

November 10 08:00 - 08:45

Circular Cities: Impacts on decarbonisation and beyond


Cities across the world are setting ambitious and important deadlines for becoming net zero – but this transition is a complex and challenging one. Adopting circular economy principles – like designing for recycling and reuse, or adapting existing buildings and assets – could allow cities to accelerate decarbonisation, while also addressing longstanding issues like resilience and quality of life. Working with Enel, and the University of Genoa, Bocconi University and Universidad de Los Andes, Arup has created a report exploring these timely themes.


Carol Lemmens

Global Advisory Services Leader

November 10 10:15 - 11:00

Cleaner, quieter, healthier – the added benefits of transport decarbonisation

Blue Zone, UK Pavilion

Chaired by Susan Claris, Deputy Chair of charity Living Streets and a transport planning leader at Arup, this COP26 Transport Day panel will discuss the wider benefits that come from a decarbonised transport system, from better air quality and improved mental and physical health, to more connected communities and stronger local economies.

Susan Claris

Active Travel Expert

November 10 11:15 - 12:45

Fostering connections between nature & play: children’s wellbeing and resilience

Blue Zone, Resilience Hub

A diversity of play experiences and direct contact with nature has direct benefits for children’s physical, mental and emotional health, and to build their resilience. The effects of urbanisation, such as land take and diminished biodiversity, can make it difficult for children to develop and maintain meaningful contact with nature, and to play freely and safely. Arup, Real Play Coalition and the Resilient Cities Network will explore how governments and communities can create and safeguard ecosystem services whilst reclaiming play in cities.


Sara Candiracci

Inclusive and Resilient Cities Lead

November 10 16:00 - 17:00

Women leaders transforming street design

Green Zone, Glasgow Science Centre

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, is bringing together women from across the globe to showcase how changes to street infrastructure can change travel behaviours in a positive way for the environment, our health and local economies. The session will be chaired by Susan Claris, Deputy Chair of charity Living Streets and a transport planning leader at Arup.

Watch online

Susan Claris

Active Travel Expert

November 11 09:35 - 10:25

How do we unlock carbon capture technology & hydrogen infrastructure to decarbonise?

Cessnock Quay, Glasgow

A full-day of presentations and discussions on hydrogen: from industry, transport, policy and finance through to energy decarbonisation and carbon capture. Join Clare Lavelle, Board Member for Scottish Renewables and one of Arup's Energy Consultancy Leaders, in a panel discussion: 'How do we unlock carbon capture technology and hydrogen infrastructure to decarbonise industry and transport?'


Clare Lavelle

Head of Energy Consultancy

November 11 10:00 - 11:30

CBI COP26 hustings - clean transport

Scottish Power Head office

With transport one of the major contributors to global emissions this discussion will assess the urgent need to tackle transport emissions as a priority to reach net zero, through investments in not only vehicles and supporting infrastructure, but in alternative fuels and power trains as well.


Isabel Dedring

Global Transport Leader

November 11 11:05 - 12:30

A net-zero circular water future for cities

Blue Zone, Water Pavilion"

50L Homes will be presented by Braulio Eduardo Morera of the 50L Home Coalition, and Martin Shouler will be moderating a roundtable with Aguas do Porto, Proctor & Gamble, 50L Home Coalition, Governor of Santiago and the Water Authority of Jordan.

Find out more

Martin Shouler

Water Expert

November 11 12:00 - 12:50

How do we shape new financial and business models for hydrogen economies?

Cessnock Quay, Glasgow

A full-day of presentations and discussions on hydrogen: from industry, transport, policy and finance through to energy decarbonisation and carbon capture. Join Filippo Gaddo, Director of Arup's Energy Investor Advisory Team, in a panel discussion: 'How do we shape new financial and business models for new hydrogen economies?'


Filippo Gaddo

UKIMEA Finance and Economics Leader

November 11 14:00 - 15:30

Fix the economy to fix climate change: the role of the circular economy

Green Zone, Glasgow Science Centre

In this session we will explore how businesses can integrate the circular economy into their overall strategy and specifically their climate strategies, and showcase leading examples of this in practice. Alongside Isabel Dedring, Global Transport Leader at Arup, hear directly from leaders in the food and mobility sectors about how to pilot and scale up circular economy activities and stimulate cross value- chain collaboration.

Watch online

Isabel Dedring

Global Transport Leader

November 11 14:00 - 15:30

Adaptation and resilience in urban water: role of cities and utilities in achieving the NDCs

Water Pavilion, COP26 Blue Zone & Virtual

Join us for a roundtable with city and infrastructure leaders from around the world on the role that play in contributing to the NDCs and the enablers and barriers they face in adapting and building water resilience in their cities, and hear about the role of tools and approaches, financing and capacity building initiatives in supporting their progression.

Find out more

Louise Ellis

Water Expert

November 11 16:00 - 16:45

Resilient Cities – towards a green and equitable energy transition

SDG7 Pavilion in the Blue Zone

To mark Cities Day at COP26, this panel will explore the themes of urban resilience and energy transition within the context of pandemic recovery. It will also serve as the launch of two new initiatives: Resilient Cities Network’s reen & Equitable Recovery program (funded by the Rockefeller Foundation) and a new white paper jointly authored by Resilient Cities Network and Arup – “City Programs as a solution for Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) rollout.


Thomas Briault

South East Asia Energy Advisory Leader

November 11 17:00 - 18:00

How can we decarbonise our built world: lessons from experiments across the world

Green Zone, Tower Base North

Volker Buscher joins a panel of global experts as they discuss what action is needed to radically decarbonise the built environment through innovation and data. Chaired by Icebreaker One’s CEO Gavin Starks, Volker will be joined by Linet Kwamboka, Nuha Eltinay and Anaclaudia Rossbach. They’ll be sharing hard-won lessons and advice for policymakers from the frontline of building decarbonisation innovation.

Watch online

Volker Buscher

Chief Data Officer

November 11 17:15 - 18:45

Accelerating action in water resilience in cities and the built environment

Blue Zone, Resilience Hub

With increasing numbers of people living in cities, water resilience in the built environment is an increasingly important topic. This event will explore water resilience issues faced by cities and will showcase stories of water resilience solutions from around the globe. Hosted by: Arup, The Resilience Shift, WaterAid, World Resources Institute, Resilient Cities Network, Stockholm International Water Institute, IWA.


Louise Ellis

Water Expert

November 11 18:30 - 20:00

Sustainability in structural engineering: panel discussion

University of Strathclyde, The Technology and Innovation Centre

An open panel discussion on sustainability in the built environment, ongoing activities across the industry, and the impact of this year’s COP26 conference. Featuring Steve Fernandez, UK Leader for Buildings Retrofit at Arup, alongside speakers from the University of Cambridge, Buro Happold, and the Institution of Structural Engineers.


Steve Fernandez

UKIMEA Building Retrofit Leader

November 12 08:30 - 09:30

NLA Breakfast Talk - COP26 policy briefing: what next for the climate agenda?

Streamed from Arup Glasgow office

Join NLA curator-in-chief Peter Murray for a discussion about what COP26 means for London’s design and development community. Peter will be joined by Bex Porter, of the UN High Level Climate Champions Team, who has been at the heart of planning Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day during COP26, and by Mayor of London Design Advocate and Arup urban design director, Somwya Parathasarathy.


Sowmya Parthasarathy

Urban Design Leader

November 12 14:00 - 18:00

Sustainability in structural engineering: CPD seminar

University of Strathclyde, The Technology and Innovation Centre

This seminar will be grouped under four main topics: How to calculate embodied carbon; Strategies for low-carbon structures; Reusing existing buildings, even when no-one’s asked you to; New buildings for people and planet. Featuring Steve Fernandez, UK Leader for Buildings Retrofit at Arup, alongside speakers from the University of Cambridge, Buro Happold, and the Institution of Structural Engineers.


Steve Fernandez

UKIMEA Building Retrofit Leader


Polar Zero

2 Oct - 12 Nov Green Zone, Glasgow Science Centre

An immersive exhibition that fuses art, science and engineering to engage visitors with climate change. The exhibition is a collaboration between artist Wayne Binitie, the British Antarctic Survey, Arup and the Royal College of Art, with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Find out more about Polar Zero

Global Cities Climate Action Exhibition

1 Nov - 12 Nov Green Zone, Glasgow Science Centre & online

A virtual and physical exhibition created jointly by Arup and C40. Using Arup’s Virtual Engage platform, the city rooms will showcase world-leading climate action initiatives underway in 11 global cities: Auckland, Beijing, Bogotá, Istanbul, Jakarta, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Nairobi and Washington D.C.

Find out more about the Global Climate Cities Action Exhibition

Reconstructing Hope

31 Oct - 12 Nov 360 booths, Green Zone. Glasgow Science Centre

Come and witness one of the greatest legacies a government-to-government project has ever created. The ARCC “Reconstruction with Changes” programme is building critical infrastructure following flooding caused by El Niño in 2017. The UK Delivery Team (Mace, Arup and Gleeds) is helping to accelerate the reconstruction of Peru with flood defences, reforestation, terracing, schools, health facilities and early warning systems.

Find out more about Reconstructing Hope

Environmental Photographer of the Year Award

1 Nov - 12 Nov NYT Climate hub, Glasgow

Arup is a key supporter of this year's Environmental Photographer of the Year competition - showcasing the most inspirational environmental photography from around the world. Category winners will be announced during COP26 at the New York Times Climate Hub

Find out more