Responding to COP26: the tasks facing civil servants

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November 23, 2021

On 1-12 November, Glasgow is to host COP26: the much-anticipated UN Climate Change Conference, at which national leaders will discuss how to secure global ‘net zero’ over the coming 30 years. At this GGF webinar, held as the dust settles on the event, senior leaders from governments, international organisations and expert bodies will explore how civil services around the world can best respond to the conference’s conclusions.

If COP26 realises its objectives, civil servants in almost every country, profession and field will face new policy goals – from greening power generation to monitoring progress against carbon targets; from strengthening national resilience to mobilising climate finance. And if it doesn’t agree a way to “keep 1.5 degrees within reach”, governments will face a new agenda: that of protecting their populations as climate change continues to accelerate.

With key players including the Americans and Chinese signalling a renewed commitment to the climate change agenda, COP26 looks likely to charge governments with a new and testing set of objectives. At this GGF webinar, the panellists will discuss the conference’s implications for civil servants everywhere.


USA/Canada Eastern Time (EST): 09:30 – 10:45
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT): 14:30 – 15:45
Central European Time (CET): 15:30 – 16:45
Eastern European Time (EET): 16:30 – 17:45
Singapore Time (SGT): 22:30 – 23:45
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): 01:30 – 02:45

Public servants can register here for free to attend this webinar


Tomas Anker Christensen, Climate Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Denmark

Tomas Anker Christensen is the Climate Ambassador of Denmark at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities. He has been Under-Secretary for Global Challenges, where he was at the head of the establishment of the 3GF – an international partnership for green growth, partnerships and transition. Subsequently, he was Senior Advisor for Partnerships to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and head of the climate team with responsibility for preparing and conducting the 2014 UN Climate Summit. Following this, he was Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations and chef de cabinet for two presidents of the General Assembly (Mogens Lykketoft and Peter Thomson, respectively) with particular focus on implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Thereafter, Tomas Anker Christensen served as special advisor to the UN’s Special Envoy on Climate Action, Michael Bloomberg and to the Special Envoy on the Ocean, Peter Thomson. Ambassador Christensen has also served as Denmark’s ambassador to Iran and to Egypt.

Eddy Pérez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager, Climate Action Network Canada

Biography to follow

Annika Christell, UNFCCC negotiator, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Biography to follow

Anna Locke, Principal Research Fellow – Climate and Sustainability, ODI, United Kingdom

Biography to follow

Webinar chair: Siobhan Benita, former UK senior civil servant

Siobhan Benita was a senior civil servant with over 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of the major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of Government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell to lead work on Civil Service reform and strategy. Siobhan left the Civil Service to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.