Cop 26 was a climate let down, but there’s HOPE.
To hit the 1.5 target, at least 40% of the world’s existing 8,500 coal-fired power plants must be closed by 2030 and no new ones built. This is something all citizens globally can monitor in their own back yard and demonstrate or petition to correct. Small groups of people can change the world. As we are seeing now, one legal case at a time.
What we can be happy about from Cop 26 is that since the Kyoto protocol was signed in 1997 no Cop decision has made a direct reference to phasing out fossil fuels. This is a world first, due to the traditionally fierce opposition from oil-producing and coal-producing countries, and from those nation’s heavily dependent on consuming fossil fuels. True discussions of fossil fuels have long halted major progress at Cop talks where decisions are made by consensus. Even this very watered-down commitment is a major step forward.
In summary, while some progress was made at Cop 26 our planet is now on death row. Current levels of gas emissions will see us reaching a 2.4 degree world or 2.7 degree world in just 9 years time. (While we are currently sitting at 1.1 – 1.3 degrees celsius above pre industrial levels).
In short, Glasgow was never going to be total solution in tackling the climate crisis, but it part of the roadmap out of hell.
Fresh revisions are planned for next year’s meeting in Egypt, rather than several years away, which is a good news. Cop 26 also proved that while democracy may be the worst best way we have of doing the right thing – it is still 100% better than the alternative: doing nothing.
NGO communities and activists, we now need you to stay extraordinarily active.