Copping hell

With the past two weeks of activities at Glasgow COP26, where have we got to at dealing with human-induced Climate Change? asks Murad Qureshi in Glasgow.

If you wanted a more stark warning of why this COP26 mattered, you need only go to the speech made by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, on behalf of low-lying and developing countries at the beginning of the two weeks. She started by declaring that, “2C is a death sentence for countries like mine.”

The chief aim of the climate summit was ‘keeping 1.5 alive’, which means limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, as stated in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Yet the total updated submissions made by countries in their National Climate Plans amounted to 2.4C increases.

We therefore still have a long way to go for actions across the globe to meet the goals set in Paris. So trying to spin it as a success rings extremely hollow to the world’s most vulnerable communities and countries who left Glasgow feeling betrayed by the COP26 Presidency.

The reneging on $100 billion on adaptation funds for the developing world caused a lot of indignation amongst the vulnerable delegates and should have been dealt with before the conference .It became a huge issue of trust. Now we hear it will be delivered by 2024 – though it has been promised since 2009!

Furthermore, there is the Loss and Damage failure of the COP26 Presidency. This is a mechanism to compensate communities and countries already affected by climate change, and thought of as another mechanism to assist the developing world to adapt. No one is asking why the deal betrayed the vulnerable countries by deleting the Glasgow Loss & Damage Facility

So as the world watched, the COP26 did not stick up for science or citizens. The vulnerable were asked to concede yet again; with the reneging on the $100 billion; emissions on track for 2.4C rises by the end of the century; loss and damage gutted and a nod to the fossil fuel business to continue as usual.

All this makes for a travesty of procedures and climate justice. So yes, of course, it is completely inadequate for the climate, yet you will hear in the mainstream media that in its own narrow terms the conference has been something of a success because of the inclusion of coal and fossil fuels for the first time.

Murad Qureshi is a former Member of the London Assembly and Chair of Stop the War UK.

Subscribe to the blog for email notifications of new posts