Glasgow was meant to deliver on firmly closing the gap to 1.5C and that didn’t happen, but in 2022 nations will now have to come back with stronger targets. The only reason we got what we did is that young people, Indigenous leaders, activists and countries on the climate frontline forced concessions that were grudgingly given. Without them, these climate talks would have flopped completely. Our once stable climate is now breaking down around us, you see it every day in wildfires, hurricanes, droughts and melting ice. Time’s up, we’ve run out of road, and as a matter of self-survival we need to urgently mobilize to create irrepressible pressure that finally ends the era of all fossil fuels.
COP26 saw progress on adaptation, with the developed countries finally beginning to respond to the calls of developing countries for funding and resources to cope with rising temperatures. There was a recognition that vulnerable countries are suffering real loss and damage from the climate crisis now, but what was promised was nothing close to what’s required on the ground. This issue must be at the top of the agenda for developed countries as the COP goes to Egypt next year.
The line on phasing out unabated coal and fossil fuel subsidies is weak and compromised, but its very existence is nevertheless a breakthrough, and the focus on a just transition is essential. The call for emissions reductions of 45% by the end of this decade is in line with what we need to do to stay under 1.5C and brings the science firmly into this deal. But it needs to be implemented.
The offsets scam got a boost in Glasgow with the creation of new loopholes that are too big to tolerate, endangering nature, Indigenous Peoples and the 1.5C goal itself. The UN Secretary General announced that a group of experts will bring vital scrutiny to offset markets, but much work still needs to be done to stop the greenwashing, cheating and loopholes giving big emitters and corporations a pass.
They changed a word, but they can’t change the signal coming out of this COP, that the era of coal is ending. If you’re a coal company executive, this COP saw a bad outcome.
It’s in the interests of all countries, including those who still burn coal, to transition to clean renewable energy, and richer countries need to do more to support the shift. Our future depends on it. (source: greenpeace.org)
The whole civil society, and in particular young people and activists, expresses deep disappointment for the weak results of this Cop26. Everyone suffers for the profit of a few. But if we all unite in the firm determination to change economic models, we can make conscious choices for our health and the health of the planet, which will make even reluctant industries, institutions and governments change. Why insist on old products and services that no one wants or uses anymore, when there are green, technological and healthy alternatives?
We can all do a lot: our consumption dictates the agenda of industries and economic policies.
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