Negotiators in Glasgow must approach their work like their lives depend on it, urge civil society representatives
5 November 2021, Glasgow:
COP26, under the UK Presidency, must deliver on ambition if there are going to be ‘rays of sunshine’ at the talks and if developed nations are to rebuild trust in the process then there has to be an end to inequality and injustice, speakers at a Climate Action Network media briefing said today.
Whilst there have been important announcements, such as those to phase out coal, policy detail remains elusive at a time when political will is imperative to finance and deliver support to poorer nations who are suffering the effects of loss and damage and irreversible climate impacts impossible to adapt to.
Ironically, the only nations to have produced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that attempt to keep the 1.5C goal in sight are the small island nations who have been experiencing climate impacts for generations.
The panel also called for the UK government to lead by example on a plan for 1.5.C rather than consider developing new coal mines, offering permits for offshore oil exploration and announcing vague net zero plans, not backed up by real policies.
Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace, said: “Developed countries need to come forward with adaptation finance that can be scaled up. International cooperation to enhance ambition must remain central to the negotiations. Developing countries require finance in the trillions yet rich countries have defaulted on the $100bn annual commitment by 2020. Rich countries must deliver on the shortfall between 2020 and 2025, as suggested by climate-vulnerable countries.
“We need all hands-on deck and all measures to be taken to enhance ambition if we are going to keep 1.5C alive with integrity; that is the goal, not the fatal 2C.”
Nafkote Dabi, Climate Change Policy Lead, Oxfam, said that developed countries are causing the climate crisis and such inequality must be addressed. An Oxfam report, released today, in collaboration with The International Institute for Sustainable Development, has forecast that by 2030 the richest 1% will emit in excess of 30 times the amount of carbon per head required to limit warming to 1.5C.
Nafkote Dabi said: “The richest nations control so much of the earth’s resources and contribute so much to carbon emissions whilst the poorest, who have contributed the least to the climate crisis, suffer the worst impacts. Governments need to tax and ban carbon intensive luxury and end a system that creates extreme wealth.”
Rev. James Bhagwan, Pacific Conference of Churches, Climate Action Network, Pacific Islands, called for urgent action to tackle the gross inequality that has so impacted Pacific nations through extreme weather events and rising sea levels that cause billions of dollars of damage and destroy communities, lives and livelihoods. He said that if action was not taken then COP26 will have been a failure.
“Loss and damage is the life and death of the Pacific. Political will is required right now to finance and deliver support to the communities already losing everything,” he said.
“It’s important that negotiations happen but global leaders need to mobilise new and additional grant-based climate financing, especially for adaptation and loss and damage. Scotland has pledged £1m but this is just a drop in the ocean. I think this is the only time we can talk about rain and floods being important in the context of needing an outpouring of funding otherwise whole countries and populations will disappear.”
Photo by: Julia Pashkovska, Climate Action Network