UN Climate Talks (COP26) postponed
It was recently announced that COP26, the annual UN climate negotiations due to take place in Glasgow this November, will be postponed until 2021 with the date still to be confirmed. While the need for climate action is as urgent as ever, holding the summit this year could pose a risk to both public health and climate justice, with limited access to the complex negotiations for delegates from those countries which are at greatest risk from both climate impacts and COVID-19, and civil society organising also restricted.
More updates to be added here as we get them.
What is 'COP26'? The Conference of the Parties, or COP, is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Its 195 member countries meet annually for 2 weeks to, in theory, get to grips with the climate crisis. The '26' demonstrates that this will be the 26th such event. Seriously, this has been going on for decades...
In 2015, in Paris, a big step was taken where all the member states signed up to an agreement to aim to limit warming to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels (avoiding some of the most catastrophic impact, but still harming many people and ecosystems). BUT the agreement involved very little in the way of practical commitments to decarbonise or to transfer wealth from richer, heavily polluting countries to poorer nations who are suffering the impacts of climate change. The pledges that were made would set the world on a course not for 1.5C warming, but around 3.5C. The usefulness of Paris depended on increasing these commitments at subsequent meetings. Especially around taking action right now, not just setting long-term targets.
Spoiler: this process (ratcheting up commitments) hasn't really happened. While the US announcing it would pull out of the Paris agreement hasn't helped, governments around the world have comprehensively failed to take real action on the climate crisis. Last December's summit in Madrid was not a success. Can people power shift the deadlock in Glasgow?
Campaign against Climate Change is part of a civil society coalition coming together to mobilise mass action around COP26 - we'll post further updates throughout the year.
A good place to start thinking about local action are the climate summits and meetings such as those coming up in Bristol (29 Feb), Manchester (29 Feb), Newcastle (5 March), Sheffield (7 March), East London (14 March)