Following COP26: SNV's top five insights

Our key takeaways after two weeks at COP26 in Glasgow

Landscape of fields

After two weeks of learning, meeting, and agenda setting at COP26 in Glasgow, now is the time for action and implementation. For SNV, this means continuing to provide access to safe and affordable food, energy, and water for the most vulnerable people around the world, at scale.

SNV participated in and hosted 12 official and side events throughout the conference. Speakers from across our organisation reinforced what SNV upholds through projects in each country we work: effective climate action requires the adoption of proven, locally-led, inclusive approaches through enhanced capacities, collective mindsets and innovative financial models.

Below are our five key take-aways from COP26.

1. More innovation and investment required

Innovation needs to happen with greater speed and scale. More robust, bolder partnerships are required to ensure new innovations with less risk, which in turn will enable innovations to be used at greater scale and where they are needed most. Climate resilient infrastructure is different from regular infrastructure across the energy, water, and agriculture sectors, and with effective partnerships and investments, we can strengthen our global approach.

2. Knowledge sharing with the private sector needed

The private sector has a role in engaging more deeply in international and local partnerships with development actors, governments, and others. Stronger relationships are needed – not just in the short-term, but also in the long-term – to be effective at climate action. Organisations like SNV can better share information, knowledge, and learning throughout the piloting and testing of projects, which can foster larger volumes of financing and enable a more lasting, meaningful change at greater scale.

3. Access to faster finance necessary

Finance needs to be made available more quickly to countries and people most vulnerable to the severe impacts of climate change. Those who have the lowest emissions often experience the largest impact of climate disturbance. Money that is provided is often in the form of loans from the Global North to the Global South – this means countries emitting the least are expected to pay.

4. Local perspectives matter

Engaging local people with local knowledge is imperative. Investment in locally-led solutions will transform ideas into action; local organisations and companies must be involved and supported to grow. Real-life perspectives are vital to understand vulnerabilities to climate change and how it embeds itself in social-economic and cultural dynamics. We must continue to amplify the voices of people in the communities being most affected by climate change.

5. The time for implementation is now

While we can be optimistic about the sense of urgency demonstrated by world leaders, and the unprecedented number of commitments and pledges made for climate change and mitigation, we must continue to urge ourselves and the wider community to be solutions-orientated for those in areas most affected by the impacts of climate change. Investors and the private sector have stepped up and are engaging in initiatives that will improve the livelihoods and resilience of people in developing countries. For instance, we are encouraged by the launch of the multi-billion Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. Now is the time to convert bold ambitions into action and implementation on the ground.

SNV uses its extensive experience to drive change in regions most vulnerable to climate change.

SNV and agriculture

We contribute to systems change by kick-starting and strengthening agricultural markets in selected commodities, and our approach to developing climate smart agricultural solutions helps farmers to grow more food, sustainably. We deploy our tested tools and approaches to meet the needs of people living in poverty, and aim to strengthen the climate resilience of farms and markets.

Read more about Agriculture at SNV

SNV and energy

SNV is committed to ending energy poverty, with a focus on zero-carbon, decentralised renewable energy solutions, leaving no-one behind. We work with public and private partners to ensure universal energy access, as well as facilitate progress in sustainable market development, gender equality, security, health, education, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Read more about Energy at SNV


SNV contributes to sustainable change in WASH delivery systems in at least 19 countries. In households, schools, and health facilities, our programmes are designed to build professional, organisational, and inter-institutional capacities to deliver environmentally and financially sustainable rural and urban WASH services.

Read more about WASH at SNV