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Climate change: ‘World’s best last chance’ for action at COP26. What you need to know

Climate change: 'World's best last chance' for action at COP26. What you need to know

World leaders, activists and diplomats meet in Glasgow for COP26 this November. All your questions about the conference answered.

The planet, you've likely heard, isn't doing so well. The latest report from the United Nations' chief climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, shows global temperatures are very likely to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels in the next few decades. Human-generated greenhouse gas emissions are unequivocally the cause.

Increasing temperatures, scientists have shown, will see more extreme weather events occurring more often -- more hurricanes, more flooding, more fire, more drought -- and result in a host of knock-on effects that threaten ecosystems, livelihoods and life as we know it.

Unless nations take drastic action to wean themselves off fossil fuels in the coming decade.

That's why November's UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, is being hailed as "the world's best last chance" to get the climate emergency under control. To ensure temperature change remains "well below" the 2 degrees Celsius agreed to by UN signatories in the Paris Agreement in 2015, countries need to act fast and double down on commitments to reach net zero emissions.

If much of that sounds like mumbo-jumbo to you, you're not alone. The science and politics of climate change are often confusing, leading to a ton of questions. CNET will be on the ground in Glasgow to bring you everything from COP26 and beyond, and in preparation we've addressed some of the biggest points about the conference and things to look out for this November.

What is COP26?
In a nutshell, it's the biggest, most important climate conference on the planet.

Since 1995, the United Nations has held an annual summit bringing together representatives from almost all the nations on Earth.