What COP26 means to CIWEM

CIWEM is working to make the planet a lower-emission, nature-rich, well-adapted and climate-resilient place. This is why CIWEM became one of the first UK institutions to declare a climate and ecological emergency in 2019.

CIWEM’s 10,000 members are committed to sharing knowledge and best practice in water and environmental management (WEM). As the UK hosts the United Nations’ climate conference COP26 in November, this page offers CIWEM members and the wider WEM sector stories, opinion and resources that shape the agenda at this world-leading climate change event.


The #CIWEMtalksCOP26 series asks thought leaders from across the WEM sector and beyond a common question: what do you most want COP26 to deliver? Read a selection of their illuminating answers below, and click here for the full series.


Featured Article

JFRM virtual special issue: managing flood risks in a changing climate

In this special virtual issue of the Journal of Flood Risk Managament (JFRM) for COP26 11 academic papers examine innovative approaches to flood-risk management spanning the globe including cities such as Istanbul and Barcelona, countries such as the Netherlands and continents such as North America.

Read more here.


1. Storms, droughts and rising seas – welcome to our post-climate-change world

2020 was a climate tipping point, more frequent storms, droughts and rising seas becoming the norm, leading climate scientist Saleemul Huq tells our exclusive interview in The Environment magazine.

2. 'We're too focused on protecting the rare, the isolated and the distant'

Rewilding aims to boost biodiversity by bringing back lost species. But should we focus less on mass tree-planting and buying in charismatic species and instead help nature to take its own course? Wildlife Trusts chief executive Craig Bennett makes the case for planning green corridors in our towns and cities.

3. Climate change: a North Sea tipping point?

Climate change will reshape the UK’s coastline and seas in ways we are only starting to understand, writes Katherine Maltby.

4. Christiana Figueres: we meet the pioneer of collaborative democracy

Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres was one of the architects of landmark climate deal the Paris Agreement. The UK must work harder to turn warm words into climate actions with real impact, she argues.

5. What's flood got to do with it?

Do climate experts use the right tone and language when they talk to people and communities about flood risk, asks Phiala Mehring.

Read more free stories from The Environment magazine at

1. Flood and Coast 2021 playlist

If you didn't get a chance to attend this year's Flood and Coast 2021 virtual conference, the good news is, is that you can watch the recorded sessions from the full playlist right here. Debate is lively, and many exciting topics in the FCERM space and beyond are covered including a future-forward session hearing from 10 early career leaders in the WEM sector discussing their priorities for COP26 and a popular, expert-led session on innovative funding for local climate resilience initiatives.


2. Adapting for Tomorrow's Environment

This online programme highlights the role the water and environmental management sector can play in developing solutions to the climate and ecological emergency. This includes presentations from leading experts in the WEM sector outlining their views on the attitudes and approaches needed to find solutions to the climate crisis and Environment Agency chair Emma Howard-Boyd describing how an increase in climate shocks has impacted the EA's new approach to flood management.


3. Career advice & climate trends – Severn Trent Water chief executive Liv Garfield

In this short yet impactful video Liv Garfield imparts the next generation of WEM professionals with her top career tips, as well as exploring key climate change 'mega trends' and how they will impact the WEM sector.

4. Nature-based solutions & the Environmental Land Management

This three-part webinar series focuses on Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs) and how they can usher in a new approach of public money paying for public goods, such as nature recovery and natural flood management. The series kicks off with 'ELMs and nature based solutions - the latest thinking' (below), followed by 'Natural Flood Management - How can ELMs contribute and what can NFM achieve?' and is completed by Nature recovery through ELMs.


5. Water resources

With 27 videos covering everything from Net Zero and the Water Industry to Phosphorus recovery and reuse from wasterwater this series helps start the conversation around some of the most pressing issues in water resource management.


An environmental podcast for people who want to build a more resilient world. Join immediate past president Niki Roach, as she chats with practitioners about the compelling issues facing the water and environment sector across the globe.

1. COP26

Join Niki as she speaks with Chris Stark, CEO of the Climate Change Committee (CCC). The CCC advise the UK and devolved governments on emissions targets and to report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for and adapting to the impacts of climate change. We hear what Chris thinks a 'good COP' will look like and his hopes and expectations for COP26 in his home city of Glasgow.

Niki's co-host for this episode is Dr Mark Fletcher, the Global Water Business Leader at Arup. Mark has attended several COP's in person and shares his experience of how COP's work in practisce. Mark is adds a water and environment sector overview for COP26, thinking about what's needed and what we should expect.

2. COP15

Join Niki and her co-host Richard Benwell as they talk about COP – but maybe not the one you'd expect! We interview Craig Bennett, the CEO of The Wildlife Trusts and hear his reflections on how COVID and the nature emergency are linked, our current progress on the nature emergency and what a successful COP15 looks like.

3. Reducing the fear and impact of flooding through strong partnerships

Join Niki for a virtual tour of Hull in East Yorkshire with her tour guide and Living with Water’s General Manager, Lee Pitcher. They’re joined by Ben Wallis, Kate MacDonald and Martin Budd to explore how the city has recovered after the devastating 2007 floods and how the special Living with Water partnership is helping people move from fearing to thriving around water.

4. Advocacy: the science and art of influence

Niki's special guest co-host is Barbara, Baroness Young Of Old Scone, plus her big interview is with Jake Rigg of Affinity Water and CIWEM's head of policy Alastair Chisholm. Join them to hear why advocacy is even necessary in the water and environment sector, hear first hand examples of advocacy in action and listen to their top tips for getting advocacy right.

5. Are our schools ready to adapt to climate change?

How do we engage children about the future of the planet without overwhelming them?

Join Niki and her co-host Baroness Brown as they discuss the challenges facing schools as they tackle climate change adaptation and resilience both in the classroom and the fabric of school buildings.

1. Environmental Economics

A practical introduction to the economic concepts, approaches and methods used to address real world challenges, including climate change, biodiversity, green infrastructure, resource management and natural capital.

2. Property Flood Resilience Industry Training

A how-to guide for industry professionals to implement the Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Code of Practice, achieving competent and consistent delivery of PRF measures.

3. Flood Risk and Resilience Training Series:

For flood-risk professionals to explore potential changes in river hydrological/hydraulic processes or coastal processes in response to internal and external controls, including climate and sea-level change.

4. Leadership to Influence Urban Projects for Wellbeing and Environmental Sustainability

This course helps you to influence stakeholders and communicate the value proposition to deliver a positive outcome for people and planet.

5. Urban Wellbeing in Practice: How to develop Urban Projects for Wellbeing and Environmental Sustainability

Promoting positive environmental impact and re-imagining the relationship between the environment and wellbeing through creative urban design.

Upcoming Events

The Environmental Photographer of the Year (EPOTY) - winners announced!

The full list of EPOTY winners have been announced and the people's choice category has opened, you can also read interviews with Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021, Antonio Aragon Anuncio and Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2021, Amaan Ali.

EPOTY has partnered with the New York Times to host the 2021 photography exhibition at The New York Times Climate Hub. The NYT Climate Hub bridges the gap between the COP26 summit and the public, creating a physical and virtual space where influential leaders and thinkers can join forces with the wider community to debate, discuss and discover climate ideas and innovations.

Visit for more details.