The text that summarizes the negotiations does not mention the end of fossil fuels or the emission reduction schedule
On the eighth day of COP26, observers and activists denounce that they are being excluded from the debate
The future of the planet it is decided this week in the Scottish city of Glasgow. After a frenzied start full of great promises and blurred global pacts, the Climate Summit (COP26) is entering the most critical phase of the negotiations. In just a few days, governments around the world will present the new roadmap to try to stop the advance of the climate crisis. This Monday, after eight days of intense debate, the organization has published the first draft of this text and, according to experts and activists, the agreements on the table are “extremely weak.”
The text, published by the same COP26 presidency, collects in a schematic way all the issues that are currently part of the negotiations. Governments, the letter states, acknowledge the seriousness of the situation, admit the scientific community’s request to increase climate ambition and commit to designing a just transition. But, according to this first draft, still no agreement has been reached on the timetable to implement the drastic reduction in emissions that is needed to curb the global increase in temperatures. It is not mentioned either explicitly or implicitly the end of fossil fuels (or the end of subsidies for big polluters).
Everything indicates that the negotiations have become entrenched in two issues that, beyond the environmental debate, stand out for their marked geopolitical and economic background. It is of great concern that agreements on these issues are skewed by industry interference. Especially after the publication of an analysis of the ‘Global witness’ platform that corroborates that, at the moment, the oil, gas and coal lobby has sent more than 500 representatives to COP26; more than any other country present at the negotiating table.
The discomfort over the opacity of the debate increases this Monday after the complaint from observers, activists, NGOs and social entities present at the Climate Summit. “The organization is using the excuse of covid restrictions to exclude ourselves from negotiation spaces. The point of view of civil society, of those affected, of tomorrow’s generations is not being taken into account “, denounce spokesmen for the Climate Action Network platform after taking the microphone during the last plenary session of the United Nations.
Tension in Glasgow
The decisive week of the Climate Summit has started with a lot of tension in the air. This Monday, without going any further, the access to the venue that houses the COP26, the Scottish Event Campus, has been collapsed repeatedly with long lines, numerous controls and many, many doubts about the dynamics of the event. Already inside, there have been many attendees who have been annoyed by the excessive influx of people, the lack of spaces to work or the sea of plastics that covers each and every food option available at the epicenter of climate crisis negotiations.
In the heart of the venue, governments and entities from around the world have deployed their pavilions to show off their commitments to the environment. Ironically, Saudi Arabia and Russia, Two of the countries that are unmarking the most from the global pacts of Glasgow, have deployed the two most colorful stands of the entire event. At the other end, ecological research centers of international prestige have appeared at the event with a brief paradita and some posters that warned that, apart from political promises, the world is heading into an era of climate disasters.
According to a recent balance made by the United Nations, in the best of cases, if the countries comply with the commitments announced to date, an annual reduction of nine gigatons of greenhouse gases. But if we want to limit the global increase in temperatures, the emissions should fall more than 22 gigatons before 2030. The analysis confirms, once again, that the only way to stop global warming is to cut the pollution levels of our species in half and achieve it immediately.
Speeches and struggles
Glasgow’s great challenge is achieve a global pact in a world where disagreement increases day by day. “We are in a moment of geopolitical tension where it is difficult to bet on global cooperation. But there is something that should transcend these debates is the fight against change climate “, declared this Monday the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, in an intervention that has monopolized all the cameras. During his speech, the president has reproached the climate denialism of the Trump administration and the “dangerous absence of urgency” that emerges from the lack of action of countries such as China and Russia.
While in the press rooms there was talk of the geopolitical scuffle, in the corridors of COP26 Climate activists around the world showed the other side of this crisis. Early in the morning, a demonstration outside the enclosure recalled that the fight for fossil fuels, in addition to polluting, has led to countless deaths. In the middle of the morning, another protest denounced the killings of activists for defending the Amazon. Later, young environmentalists gathered to remind themselves, once again, that if Glasgow fails its future also fails. The world depends on what is decided on these four walls.