Five useful things you can do during COP26
FIVE USEFUL THINGS YOU CAN DO DURING COP26
Danny Chivers gives us five useful things we can all do to make sure of meaningful action in the COP26 climate talks.
Internationalize! A girl at a global day of action on climate change in Khayelitsha township near Cape Town, South Africa in September 2020. SUMAYA HISHAM/REUTERS
Soon, we have more UN climate talks. During the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK (31 October to 12 November), there will be many opportunities to support the big cuts in emissions we need to stop total climate breakdown. Based on the discussions at COP26, here are five suggestions:
1 CHALLENGE FALSE SOLUTIONS
COP26 won’t be making many big, formal decisions; it will mainly be discussing the unfinished details of the 2015 Paris agreement. We need to watch the difficult topic of carbon trading closely. Polluting governments want carbon markets that have loose regulations and many loopholes: this will make it look like they will meet their targets but they won’t cut their emissions at all. We need to fight against these fake solutions – on social media, by talking to the people around us or by joining protests and campaigns that demand meaningful action at COP26 and after this.
2 DEMAND GLOBAL JUSTICE
At COPs before, Northern governments promised to give money to the Global South, to help pay for the change to clean energy and protect communities from the effects of climate change now. This is fair, because the climate crisis is very much the fault of the industrialized nations and their businesses. Also, people say they should pay for the loss and damage that low-income countries have already suffered from climate disasters. However, not enough money has been promised so far, and the promised money has not all been delivered. Industrialized countries will try to push these issues into the background at COP26. It’s up to us – and our organizations – to keep the spotlight on global justice.
MAKE THE LOCAL IMPORTANT
Politicians like to talk big at COPs. This is your chance to make the local important. There are many really bad projects that governments (that say they are ‘climate leaders’) are pushing: coal mines and oil fields in the UK to pipelines in the US and Canada. This is a chance to show and put a stop to these projects.
4 SHOUT ABOUT FAILURE
Many governments will be trying hard to say the COP is a success – and the media are not very good at challenging this. Look for updates to Nationally Determined Contributions – the amount of greenhouse gas that each country is promising to cut in the coming years. If these contributions don’t keep the earth below 1.5°C warming – or get enough help for Southern countries – then they’re not good enough. Many countries are trying to move attention away from agreements made in Paris, with promises to be ‘net-zero by 2050’. This target is easier because it’s a long way in the future and it can include impossible amounts of tree-planting and carbon capture technologies that have not been proven yet. Our job is to bring the conversation back to what governments are doing right now, and in the next few years, when it urgently matters.
One of the biggest criticisms of COP26 has been not bringing enough people from all over the world. The UK has not provided enough Covid-19 vaccinations, money for quarantine funding or visa exemptions, so many people will not be able to come, especially people from the Global South and indigenous communities. Everyone needs to listen to these people because they are at the frontline of the climate crisis and they have many real solutions to it. Climate activists in the Global North can link up online with people who can’t go to COP26, and keep those links afterwards. If we want to avoid the worst climate predictions, we need an international movement of global solidarity, with the power to create the change.
To find out about organizing around COP26 go to: cop26coalition.org
Look at these specialist climate sites to see up-to-date news about the important policy discussions at COP26: carbonbrief.org and desmog.com
NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: https://newint.org/features/2021/10/07/temperature-check