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Tue, 25 May


Online Conference

Call for 2021 UNFCCC COP26 CLIMATE LAW AND GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE Session Proposals, Partners and Participants

The deadline for the first round of session proposals for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change CoP26 Climate Law and Governance Day 2021 has now been extended to 25 May, ahead of the review and selection of the first set of confirmed sessions by 20 June 2021.

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Call for 2021 UNFCCC COP26 CLIMATE LAW AND GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE Session Proposals, Partners and Participants
Call for 2021 UNFCCC COP26 CLIMATE LAW AND GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE Session Proposals, Partners and Participants

Time & Location

25 May 2021, 19:00

Online Conference

About the Event


Climate Law and Governance Day 2021

With leading climate law and governance counsel, experts and practitioners preparing to join over 20,000 Party delegates and observers for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) on 01 – 12 November 2021, a unique opportunity arises to increase ambition, harness the knowledge and engagement of the climate law and governance community, share innovations and good practices, and strengthen networks and capacity for the race to net zero. In response, the Climate Law and Governance Initiative has launched this global call for partners, sponsors and session hosts for Climate Law and Governance Day 2021, which will be held on Friday 05 November 2021 this year, in Glasgow and with an important online component.

Climate Law & Governance Day 2021 will take place during UNFCCC COP26 on Friday 05 November 2021.

Climate Law and Governance Day 2021 builds on a series of special events co-hosted by key partners from the Climate Law and Governance Initiative (CLGI) during the UNFCCC climate conferences since the 2005 MOP1/COP11 in Montreal, Canada to mobilise the international law and governance community to help implement the UNFCCC and most recently, the Paris Agreement in the context of the global Sustainable Development Goals. This global international symposium aims to facilitate meaningful dialogue between COP delegates, observers and stakeholders, also keen students, with an interest in national and international law and governance related to climate change, including government representatives and leaders, leading international and domestic legal practitioners, and renowned legal experts. In partnership with local hosts from the University of Cambridge, Strathclyde University and the University of Glasgow, events shall occur either in Glasgow and online, or simply online, depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

The opportunity is now open for any interested Parties, observers or other institutions to become partners or sponsors, or to propose a session for the programme.

The Climate Law and Governance Initiative is a world-leading partnership of law and governance faculties, expert institutes, international organizations, lawmakers, government delegates and foremost practitioners, which since 2015 has been collaborating to foster implementation of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement with the support of a small secretariat provided by the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) from McGill University and the University of Cambridge. Climate Law and Governance Day 2021 will feature a full global symposium of distinguished plenaries, celebratory launching events, specialist panels and workshops, as well as the presentation of the 2021 Climate Law and Governance Global Leadership Awards and the 2021 Students Climate Law and Governance Essay Competition Prizes, and a popular one-day climate law and governance specialization course held online on Sunday 07 November 2021.

Key Reasons to Become a Partner in Climate Law & Governance Day 2021

  • Share knowledge, research, innovations and experiences
  • Network and open opportunities for new collaborations
  • Learn from leading research and initiatives in the field
  • Connect with specialist law and governance support
  • Access innovative legal and institutional tools to advance ambitious climate action


Parties, Observer organisations and others are invited to contact the CLGI Programme Committee by 25 May 2021 to propose a session or collaboration for early consideration, or by 15 July 2021 at the latest. Successful session hosts and co-hosts will be informed by 20 June 2021, or 20 September 2021.

Climate Law & Governance Day 2021 Themes

Four key themes have been identified in consultation with the CLGD Programme Committee from the vision set by the United Kingdom as UNFCCC COP26 President, as informed by the UNFCCC Climate Dialogues - Climate Law and Governance Roundtable on 04 December 2020. Each theme is led by a CLGI Chair. CLGI is now accepting proposals from any organizations interested in hosting a panel, roundtable or workshop at Climate Law & Governance Day 2021 on:

  1. Operationalising the Paris Agreement: Exploring the challenges and opportunities of market and non-market mechanisms, transparency frameworks, compliance mechanisms, loss and damage, the Global Stocktake and other elements of operationalizing the Paris Agreement and other relevant international legal instruments.
  2. Testing Legal and Governance Tools for High Ambition Implementation: Innovating legal and governance instruments for climate mitigation, adaptation and finance, creating synergies within and across sectors, and strengthening capacity amongst legislators, policymakers and institutions, in the context of pandemic recovery measures to help or hinder high ambition implementation of NDCs and LTSs under the Paris Agreement.
  3. Advancing Climate Resilience and Climate Justice: Engaging civil society and the legal community, including courts and professionals, in accelerating climate action, enhancing transparency and ensuring accountability, integrating rights based approaches into climate actions, advancing the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for loss and damage with effective structures including for financing actions to address loss and damage, and climate migration.
  4. Net Zero Legal Frameworks to Enable Climate Neutral Investment and Finance: Exploring the legal tools and obstacles in promoting sustainable climate finance, investment flows and global supply chains to implement the Paris Agreement, including reductions in fossil fuel subsidies, considering contributions of private international law, international trade and investment law.

Climate Law & Governance Day Objectives

  1. To inspire and optimize legal and institutional reform for achieving current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, supporting the 2023 Global Stocktake efforts and increasing the ambition of the next round of NDCs.
  2. To profile and share innovative international, national, and local law and governance challenges, mechanisms and good practices relating to global efforts to address climate change.
  3. To catalyse knowledge exchange and co-generate new climate law and governance scholarship, insights and approaches, facilitating new dialogue and partnerships.
  4. To strengthen capacity, collaboration among the climate law and governance community of practice to implement the Doha Amendment, Paris Agreement and COP outcomes, supporting achievement of the world’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Key Elements of Climate Law & Governance Day 20121

  1. Preparatory events, including an international academic conference at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law on 30-31 October 2021, with plenary sessions scoping the future legal and governance research agenda and identifying needs for new scholarship needs, capacity building, technical cooperation and future educational offerings.
  2. Climate Law and Governance Day 2021 on 05 November online or in person with briefings on trends and progress in climate law and governance worldwide, regionally and locally, sharing dialogue, practices and tools to support implementation of the Paris Agreement NDCs and Long-term Strategies (LTS), the Doha Amendment, and the SDGs, with roundtables featuring climate law and governance topics and instruments, advancing international law, and building synergies for future collaboration.
  3. Climate Law and Governance Global Leadership Awards 2021 and International Climate Law and Governance Student Essay Contest 2021 Prizes on 05 November 2021, recognizing negotiators, general counsel, and distinguished practitioners, academics and civil society leaders, also outstanding students.
  4. Climate Law and Governance Specialization Course 2021 hosted online or in person on 07 November 2021, to strengthen legal and institutional knowledge and capacity of UNFCCC delegates, observers, scholars and others for implementation and compliance with the Paris Agreement. In this one-day course, a certification is granted.
  5. A programme of UNFCCC sessions and side-events during COP26 from 01 - 12 November, featuring insights, instruments and practices gained through CLGI partnerships and projects.


Climate Law and Governance Day 2021 on 05 November 2021 and the Climate Law and Governance Specialization Course 2021 on 07 November 2021 take place in partnership with Strathclyde University and the University of Glasgow, online or in person if COVID-19 restrictions allow. Preparatory events at the University of Cambridge include the global online Leverhulme Lecture and Distinguished Experts Dialogue on Climate Change, the SDGs and the Law on 13 October 2021, and an international academic conference on law and policy related to climate change on 29-30 October 2021.

Other CLGI Activities During COP26

CLGI supports an international programme of special side events and other sessions hosted by collaborating partners, co-hosts and session hosts, including the Research and Independent NGOs (RINGOs) constituency and others at the COP. These events shall often take place in official UNFCCC side event zones of the COP26 Climate Change Conference, as well further associated venues, in collaboration with leading climate law and governance organisations.  A CLGI Booth at COP also often offers a meeting point and dedicated space to share knowledge and materials, including about climate law and governance issues and activities, opening opportunities for exchanges among delegates and observers. CLGI will publish blog contributions during COP26, as well as legal working papers and books with world-leading presses based on COP26 collaborations.

Becoming a Partner or Sponsor, or Proposing a Session

Government departments from Parties to the UNFCCC or Paris Agreement, UN bodies, other intergovernmental organizations, academic and other institutions, jurists, law firms and associations, businesses and civil society are invited to join as partners or sponsors of the Climate Law and Governance Initiative. The continued support of our diverse network of government, intergovernmental, university, private sector and civil society partners, as well as law firms and associations, is very important and new partners are always welcome.

Any institution is welcome also to submit a brief proposal for a session (workshop, roundtable, panel) at Climate Law and Governance Day 2021.

Sessions can share and profile the work of hosts across the global UNFCCC community. Sessions can also offer launching or convening points for ongoing programmes, a chance to meet stakeholders convened by the CoP, or to share progress with sponsors and partners.

  • Complete this short google form to express your organisation’s interest in hosting a session for Climate Law & Governance Day 2021.
  • In the alternative, simply send an email with the name / country of the proposing organisation and any partners, and the name/email of the lead contact (sessions hosted by consortia of several partners are especially welcome); the proposed title of your 60 or 90 minute session and your preferred format (panel, roundtable, participatory workshop, grand plenary); and themes you plan to address (how your event touches on the four focus themes of Climate Law and Governance Day 2021, or on legal and institutional issues of important to the wider UNFCCC COP26 agenda) to
  • UNFCCC Parties, Observers, institutions or other stakeholders interested in co-hosting or sponsoring Climate Law & Governance Day 2021 are also welcome to contact the CLGI secretariat by email at with any questions or to discuss collaboration

A selection process is led by the CLGI CoP26 Programme Committee, and proponents may be asked to combine their proposals with others to co-host a session, in order to ensure that more organizations can host events. Successful proponents shall be asked to contribute modest cost-shares in order to assure success of the entire event, including for design and printing of materials, outreach, volunteer coordination, reporting and least developed country / student participation. For proposals from least developed and highly climate vulnerable countries and institutions, three sessions are sponsored by CLGI Programme Committee members and do not require any cost-share.

Partners and sponsors are especially sought to provide participation grants which can enable more least developed and highly climate vulnerable country delegates, academics, students and other stakeholders to engage more equitably in CLGD 2021, and to cover communications, reporting, volunteer coordination and other costs of hosting events.

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