RGS / FT Essay Competition: COP26

The UK is hosting COP26 at the end of the year.

The annual RGS / FT Essay competition is now ready to accept entries, and details of this year's title are included here.

The winning essay will be published on the Society’s website and may also be published on FT.com and in Routes journal.

2021 competition details


The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021. The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The COP26 conference will consider, among other actions, how changing our methods and practices of transporting people and goods will help towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. Consequently, the question for this year’s essay competition is:
Explain how transport changes might help the world to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Your essay should focus on the geographical implications of one of the following bullet points and include reference to data and FT articles, where relevant.
  • The movement of people – focusing on cleaner transport methods and/or choices about whether movement is necessary. You may decide upon a narrow focus, like the switch from fossil fuel to electric vehicles, or you may decide to comment on a broader range of ideas.
  • The movement of food – considering how food miles, transport methods, behavioural changes and other relevant considerations might help to reduce the impact of food supply and distribution to shops and our homes.


This competition is open to sixth form geography students aged 16-18 who are registered to study A Level geography or equivalent in Year 12 or 13 on the closing date. Unfortuntely, it is not open to 16-year-old GCSE level students who will be in Year 11 in September 2021.