Climate ChangeRecent Post

Our verdict on COP26: A compromise with catastrophe

The last
chance…until next time

Even in its framing, this year’s COP got off on the wrong
foot. It was billed as the world’s “last chance to avert climate disaster”. But
even this alarming summary fails to adequately diagnose the situation we are
currently in. It is no longer the case that climate change is some looming
future threat that global leaders need to act pre-emptively to head off.
Rather, we are at a stage where leaders are having to play catch-up during an
ongoing crisis, attempting to minimise the damage as much as possible.

During our time in Glasgow, we heard time and time again the
disbelief and dismay from those protesting on the streets or pleading for
action on podiums when the leaders they looked to for action stated that “the
world is on the brink of an emergency”. For millions of people around the
world, the emergency is already here. Through floods, fires, droughts, famine,
people’s lives are already being destroyed by the impacts of climate change –
and often, it’s those who had little or no part in causing this crisis who are
suffering the most.

Judged on its own terms as the final chance to pull us back
from the brink of climate catastrophe, COP26 was a failure. Commitments with
delivery dates decades into the future, with no clear accountability or milestones for achieving them, are not
appropriate responses to such a precipitous moment. Given the fact that this
crisis is already upon us, the lack of urgency shown is simply unforgiveable.

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