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Don’t COP out. They didn’t show up, but how can we?

  • 4 min read

Have a read of our thoughts and explanation of COP26. Find out what we’re doing to ensure that those in positions of power and influence will sit up and listen.

What is COP26?

From Sun, 31 Oct 2021 – Fri, 12 Nov 2021, Glasgow will be hosting the 26th annual Conference of the Parties AKA COP26. 30,000 delegates and most (more on this later) world leaders are meeting with updated plans on the Paris Agreement. As momentous as it was that all countries pledged to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, 5 years later we did not come close to that goal.

With major polluter absentees, a lack of wheelchair access, and Boris Johnson sitting maskless next to 95 year old treasure David Attenborough - COP26 is looking like the Fyre Festival of environmentalism.

Why COP26 matters to us as a Skincare Brand?

As a by-product beauty brand that rescues leftover natural ingredients, our ultimate mission is to leave the world better than we found it. Not only do we need the beauty industry to join us in this revolution but we need the government to, too. What’s the point of good skin if the air is too polluted to see it?

Why it matters to us as humans?

When The United Nations said, “this [COP26] is an opportunity to save humanity from itself, a race to arrest climate change before it’s too late.” that really hit home. It's more than plastic bags second hand clothes, we need the government to take dramatic actions, otherwise all our individual efforts feel pointless.. - Dara, UpCircle's Community Chief. 

Climate change is a heavy topic, so we checked in on the UpCircle community to see how they’re feeling too.


We’re not politicians but here’s what we understand about the practical changes that could be made

Rather than supporting businesses like ours, the UK has paid £4bn of public money to oil and gas industries since the 2015 Paris Agreement. We demand that you:

  1. Create meaningful tax incentives for businesses to switch to renewable energy and to make significant carbon reductions across UK manufacturing
  2. Implement a more aggressive carbon tax than the UK Emissions Trading Scheme that penalises the biggest fossil fuel polluters, as these current penalties are not enough of a deterrent
  3. To Stop Cambo and all other new investments into oil and gas, ensuring a Just Transition away from fossil fuels
  4. Bring forward the UK’s net-zero 2050 to 2030, to give us real hope of limiting global warming to +1.5C

We need collective and tangible action on climate change now!

The IPCC report this year stated that climate change is unequivocally caused by human activity. Since we started burning fossil fuels, in the industrial revolution, global temperatures have increased by over 1C, but globally, investments are still made into the fossil fuel industry at a current rate of £11M per minute. This is insanity.

We are fighting for positive change in our industries, and here are some of the challenges we face:

  1. The limited availability of innovative, green materials come with a hefty price tag, as it’s expensive for suppliers to scale when they themselves are small
  2. Much of the innovation is coming from EU countries which have become increasingly expensive to work with.
  3. A huge amount of raw material production is outsourced abroad due to labour and infrastructures costs in the U.K.
  4. There is a lack of support to fund critical research to help small businesses reduce their carbon output.
  5. We’re relying on our partners to make positive changes such as switching to green energy out of goodwill, as there are currently no monetary incentives to do so.

The attendees are made up of the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty in 1994. But some pretty big names are missing in action.

They didn’t show up, but how can we?

With an initiative organised by BYBI Beauty, we’ve teamed up with a powerhouse group of like-minded brands to create what we hope will become a long term coalition of brands committed to using their voices to drive real change.

The group includes the likes of Cheeky Panda, Wuka, Dame, Shreddy, Wild Deodorant and many more. Combined we should be able to reach hundreds of thousands of individuals, inspiring them to take action, as well as achieving our ultimate goal of shouting loud enough for those in positions of power and influence to sit up and listen. It is our responsibility as brands to speak out. We must act now, time really is running out.

The plan is to go live with our letter to the prime minister across as many channels as possible on Saturday 6th November - the Global Day of Climate Action. Our open letter to the PM, submitted to parliament will also go live as a full page ad in The Guardian's Green & Ethical section.

We will all also be making the letter accessible on social media, giving more people the opportunity to use their voice.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and tackling climate change won’t be resolved in the 12 days of COP26 either. All this political talk needs to evolve into hearty action. There’s a lot we can do as individuals to progress the fight against climate change. But, don’t forget that you are only one person - be kind to yourself, others, and Mother Earth.

Live updates on COP26

More information on COP26 & climate changeArticles, trackers, surveys, and more.