This year’s (2022) COP is COP27. It is being held in Egypt and the theme is Global Justice.
We absolutely support calls from Global Majority or Global South nations for loss and damage payments to support their rapid transition to a zero carbon economy, to initiate adaptation measures and to cope with climate induced disasters such as drought and flood.
We are not confident of the outcomes, although there have been some very strong statements key leaders.
From the UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres: “We in the fight of our lives and we are losing.” And “We are on the road to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.“
From Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados: “We were the ones whose blood, sweat and tears financed the industrial revolution,” she said. “Are we now to face double jeopardy by having to pay the cost as a result of those greenhouse gases from the industrial revolution? That is fundamentally unfair.”
Even Joe Biden, US President was remarkably blunt, saying: “If we are going to win this fight, every major emitter needs to align with 1.5C. We can no longer plead ignorance of the consequences of our actions or continue to repeat our mistakes. Everyone has to keep accelerating progress throughout this decisive decade.”
Whether powerful words can overcome a record number of Fossil Fuel lobbyists, corporate greenwashing and silence on human rights remains to be seen…
Every year, the United Nations organise global conferences – Conference of the Parties, or COP. 2021 is the 26th COP focusing on Climate change – hence COP26.
COP26 is being held in Glasgow in November this year, and the Conference Presidency is held by the UK – specifically, by Alok Sharma, MP. People in the UK have a special opportunity, and special responsibility, to influence this global conference held in our own country. Just Transition Wakefield takes on that responsibility.
The IPCC published a report on August 9th, 2021, which makes it clear that people are responsible for climate change, and that we really are at crisis point. At the same time, we have seen a summer of climate breakdown across the world: there have been extreme heatwaves and extreme wildfires in Canada and the US, in Siberia and around the Mediterranean; there have been catastrophic floods across Europe, in China, in India, in West Africa. We have to cut emissions quickly if we are to stop even more extreme climate breakdown in the future.
The UK Government has set some impressive targets, but as yet it has no policy to meet those targets. It is also caught between understanding the need to act on climate, whilst being funded and lobbied by vested interests in the fossil fuel industry and others. This is why they are calling for emissions cuts at the same time as approving exploration licences for new oil and gas. We all have to focus their minds on the real problem: the climate and ecological emergencies and staying with 1.5 degrees of warming!
You can see our demands from the UK and World leaders in our “write to your MP” leaflet here.
Marching to COP26
A group of Spanish XR members are marching to Glasgow to arrive at the COP talks on October 31st, as the COP opens. This takes nerve, stamina and commitment! They passed through Wakefield on October 15th, pausing for a rally, a rest and refreshment! You can read all about it here.
You can also see a short film about the day, with thanks to Red Shed TV.
If you want to know more about the route, you can see it here.
Many of us have written to our MPs about COP26, including a late flurry timed to coincide with the Parliamentary debate. Now we have to keep the pressure on world leaders throughout COP26. The principle opportunity is through the Global Climate Mobilisation on Saturday November 6th. Civil Society groups across the world have joined forces to call for a global demonstration, aiming to get millions onto the streets across the world. Please join us in Leeds at 12 noon in Millennium Square. If you are a Trade Union member, assemble at 11:30 in Leeds City Square. Bring your banners, bring your flags and bring your placards. Bring your kids, bring your gran, bring your friends. We need to make world leaders take notice!
Civil Society (trade unions, environmental organisations, voluntary organisations) have come together to join their voices as the COP26 Coalition. Just Transition Wakefield is part of this coalition, and is an organising member of the Yorkshire and Humber COP26 Coalition who are organising the COP26 rally in Leeds. Do please support it!
If you would like to join us in pushing for climate action, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page – we would love to welcome you!
On 14/15 August 2021 we attended Wakefield Music Collective’s festival in Clarence Park, Wakefield, where we held COP26-related carbon conversations with many concerned people. Here’s a link to the Press release we issued.