Sunday, November 14, 2021

COP26 Closes with the Glasgow Climate Pact

 Greta Thunberg has given her response to the outcome of two weeks of talks, what is now called the Glasgow Climate Pact:

 ‘…beware of a tsunami of greenwashing and media spin to somehow frame the outcome as “good”, “progress”, “hopeful” or “a step in the right direction”. ’

And her words were soon proved true when U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s a good deal for the world. It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ conclusion was  that the “outcome is a compromise, reflecting the interests, contradictions & state of political will in the world today.” He explained, “Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread. We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said 


Mohamed Adow, director of the Nairobi-based think tank Power Shift Africa, said: “The needs of the world’s vulnerable people have been sacrificed on the altar of the rich world’s selfishness. The outcome here reflects a Cop held in the rich world and the outcome contains the priorities of the rich world.” Adow added: “We are leaving empty-handed…”

Lia Nicholson, lead negotiator for Antigua and Barbuda, which chairs the 37-strong Alliance of Small Island States, said they were "extremely disappointed" by the lack of progress on loss and damage - the principle that richer countries, which bear the main responsibility for the global warming, should pay compensation to poorer ones because of climate impacts. She added: "We will express our grievances in due course.


 Aminath Shauna, the Maldives minister for environment, climate change and technology said. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand…The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us. We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam's international executive director, stated: "Clearly some world leaders think they aren't living on the same planet as the rest of us. It seems no amount of fires, rising sea levels or droughts will bring them to their senses to stop increasing emissions at the expense of humanity. The world's poorest have done the least to cause the climate emergency, yet are the ones left struggling to survive while also footing the bill.


“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “…nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster. People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Global Witness Director of Campaigns, Seema Joshi, said:

“Despite the science, the energy, enthusiasm and passion of communities, activists, environmental defenders and NGOs both in Glasgow and across the world, global leaders at COP26 have failed to put people and the planet ahead of profits and vested corporate interests.  The fight to save humanity is on. In the words of Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate, anything above 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming will be a “death sentence” in many parts of the world, with indigenous communities, people of colour and the poorest being hit hardest…

Once again the words of Greta Thunberg resonates with many

 “The COP26 is over. Here’s a brief summary: Blah, blah, blah.”


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