COP26 has been mentioned 2.7 times more than the previous four conferences combined so far. That is not a difference that can be explained by the year-long postponement.
Aside from the drastic increase in volume, it’s notable that the conversation started far earlier. For COPs 22 to 25, they were barely mentioned outside of the event’s duration. The COP26 conversation gained momentum as COP25 finished and has built steam since November 2020.
In fact, COP26 received nearly three times the number of mentions between Jan – Sep 2021 that COP25 did for the whole of 2019. It really feels like people see this year as the last gasp chance to reverse climate change before it’s too late.
The big moments
There have been high levels of conversation throughout the conference, but there have been plenty of spikes too. Using Brandwatch’s Iris AI technology, we found the biggest peaks in the conversation and what drove them.
COP26 opens, 1 Nov, 8am – 10am GMT
The biggest conversation starter was the opening of the conference. With a wave of news coverage and press releases unleashed, and interviews with politicians and activists broadcast all over, COP26 was inescapable.
While general coverage and various announcements from world leaders all played their part, action outside of the conference also ramped up mentions.
The image below was posted over 4,000 times in the space of two hours as people drew attention to four activists from Namibia, Uganda, Mexico, and Bangladesh and their attempt to sail right up to the COP26 venue.