World Leaders Summit COP26 Cryosphere

Oct. 31 (Sunday): High-level Segment I

14:30  Early Career Scientist Presentations

The Cryosphere Pavilion opens with presentations from our Early Career Scientist volunteers!  Hear about their research, and how they became engaged in cryosphere science. Organized by ICCI.

16:00 The Future of Snow

As temperatures rise, snow is falling more seldom, with impacts from snowpack loss ranging from vital water resources for agriculture and energy, to the recreation industry. Organized by Protect Our Winters. Speakers: Three-time Olympian snowboarder Leslie McKenna, Lauren MacCallum, Heïdi Sevestre.

Nov. 1 (Monday): High-level Segment II

10:00  Tajikistan: Snow and Ice in Climate Change

How can mountain nations create resilience against the worsening impacts of disasters and rapidly changing water availability?  This event will promote the achievement of climate-related sustainable goals and targets through preservation of glaciers and snow cover; and providing sustainable water management solutions. Organized by the Government of Tajikistan, WMO and UNESCO.

Speakers include: 

Mr. Sulton Rahimzoda, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to the High-Level Panel on Water and Climate

H.E. Mr. Bahodur Sheralizoda, Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan;

H.E. Mr. Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of WMO;

Ms. Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO.

Mr. John Pomeroy: The demise of global snow and ice due to climate change and the implications for water sustainability

Mr. Gino Casassa, Director of the Glaciology and Snow Unit of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP), Chile;

Ms. Carolina Adler, Executive Director of Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), Switzerland;

Mr. Muzaffar Shodmonov, Forecasting Technical Specialist, Agency for Hydrometeorology of the Committee on Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan;

Mr. Basanta Shrestha, Director of Strategic Cooperation International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD);

Mr. Daniel Maselli, Senior Policy Advisor and Focal Point Global Programme Water, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland.

Johannes Cullmann, WMO


Event moderated by: Mr. Anil Mishra, Chief of Section

Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), Division of Water Sciences, UNESCO 


13:00 50×30 Analysis: Scotland

The IPCC has made it clear that to remain close to 1.5°C of warming, 50% emissions reductions must occur globally by 2030; and that this is especially important to prevent growing levels of loss and damage; and on human scales, permanent global impacts from cryosphere.  The new 50×30 Coalition is meant to promote both this science, and those governments that are “50×30” consistent.  How do the reduction measures by Scotland measure against this goal? Organized by the 50×30 Coalition

Speakers include:

Pam Pearson Director, ICCI

Dr. Jonathan Bamber IPCC AR4, SROCC, AR5 Director, Bristol Glaciology Centre

Dr. Joeri Rogelj IPCC AR5, SR1.5, AR6 Pathways, Grantham Institute

Dr. Ryan Wilson Climate Analytics

Mairi McAllen Minister for Environment


14:30 The Changing Arctic Ocean: Impacts of Climate Change

While ocean acidification is occurring most rapidly in the Arctic and Southern Oceans, some near-polar seas will see equally high levels, with long-term and extensive ecosystem damage (acidification takes around 50,000 years to recede).  The North Sea is one of these acidification “hot spots,” along with the Baltic; and both are suffering from other pressures as well.  How can this future be prevented? Organized by British Antarctic Survey.

16:00 Formal Cryosphere Pavilion Opening

Ribbon-Cutting ceremony with the President of Switzerland, Science Minister of Chile and Finance Minister of Scotland.

16:15  Switzerland: Glaciers, Snow and Water Supplies

Joint program with the Cryosphere Pavilion Hub in Geneva, Switzerland with the Swiss President in Glasgow. Organized by the Government of Switzerland.

President of Switzerland, Guy  Parmelin 

Ambassador Stefan Estermann, Head of Prosperity and Sustainability Division, Swiss Federal Department for Foreign Affairs 

Prof. Jean-Marc Triscone Vice Rector, University of Geneva 

Prof. Sonia Seneviratne, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Prof. Samuel Jaccard, University of Lausanne

Prof. Matthias Huss,  Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Dr. Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary-General, WMO

Dr. Sebastian König, Scientific  Head of the Swiss IPCC Focal Point at the Federal Office for the Environment 

Prof. Markus Stoffel, University of Geneva

Master of Ceremony in Glasgow: Prof. Geraldine Pflieger, University of Geneva

Moderator in Geneva: Claire Doole


18:00 Glaciers and Ice Sheets: the Long Tail of Climate Change

Smaller glaciers around the world are disappearing quickly with global warming; but until the past couple of decades, many of the world’s largest glaciers, including in Canada and Alaska seemed more stable.  Today however, even these massive glaciers clearly are losing ice; and projections show that they may continue losing mass for decades or centuries even should temperatures stabilize, and especially should peak temperatures exceed Paris goals.  In this, they are similar to the polar ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica: hear IPCC and other scientists discuss this “long tail” of glaciers and ice sheets in a warming world. Organized by ETH Zurich and the University of Bremen  

19:30 Cryosphere Cèlidh*: Art Exhibit: Global Water Futures

Cold Regions Warming is an art-science perspective on climate change threats to the vast high latitude and high altitude cold regions of the world that provide freshwater to over half of humanity. The art, by UK-based Russian artist Gennadiy Ivanov comprises pastels painted in the field, photographs, sound, music, videos and large oils of how climate change and water impacts are measured, and what these impacts are on the cryosphere. It is suffused with the ambition that we can still ameliorate the very worst which, otherwise, is coming. Organized by Global Water Futures/University of Saskatchewan and UNESCO.

*Note: A cèlidh (“kay-lee”) is normally a broad, open event with many players and singers throughout the evening.  Because of Covid restrictions, this sadly will not be possible at the COP-26 Cryosphere Pavlion; but the “Cryosphere Cèlidhean” are instead envisaged as a single cèlidh taking place across time, all the evenings of the COP; bringing together the breadth of cryosphere regions, peoples and cultural traditions.