The outcome of COP26 does not bode well for the future of the planet, but then again, no one familiar with the history of international climate talks should have expected anything other than a failure in Glasgow.

In fact, given what we already know about the science of climate change (fossil fuels are the main culprits of global warming), and, in light of our experience with the catastrophic effects of global warming (heat waves, forest fires, floods, droughts, melting glaciers, sea level rise, habitat loss and species extinction), COP26 must be considered a “monumental failure”.

Indeed, it is quite shocking to see reports and comments from certain circles attempting to convince the public that COP26 represents a step forward in the fight against the climate crisis.

Why? Because for the first time in nearly three decades, global “coal” has been used in a COP climate deal? Or because of the commitment to end deforestation by 2030? Or could it be because world leaders agreed to end “inefficient” subsidies for fossil fuels?

Hypocrisy reigned supreme at COP26 in Glasgow. Leaving aside the presence of the fossil fuel industry with a larger delegation than any country, most world leaders were there to defend their national economic interests rather than the sustainability of the planet.

Let’s start with President Joe Biden. He argued that “there is no more time to hang back or sit on the fence” and then sought to convince everyone present that the United States “will lead by example” in the fight against global warming. How? ‘Or’ What? By leasing over 80 million acres of public water in the Gulf of Mexico to fossil fuel companies for oil and gas extraction immediately following his rhetorical stance at COP26.

And let’s not forget his urgent appeal to OPEC just a few months ago to increase oil production.

Perfect samples to lead by example!

What about Australia, whose current government is committed to continuing to use and sell coal for decades to come?

Countries like China, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, to name a few, have worked hard during the negotiations to weaken the COP26 final pact as much as possible.

Of course, the rich countries, which are primarily responsible for the climate crisis, bear the vast majority of the blame for the climate stalemate.

Their failure to honor a pledge of $ 100 billion in climate finance per year to poor countries, which are hardest hit by the consequences of global warming, speaks volumes about their commitment to transforming a sustainable future and just. The same is true of their position on the issue of “loss and damage” financing at COP26, which was deliberately worded in very vague terms and was left for consideration in future climate talks.

But that’s what international climate diplomacy ultimately comes down to: governments fighting for a climate agenda that won’t harm the specific interests and needs of their own ruling classes. This is exactly why world leaders have strived for almost three decades to take drastic action to combat global warming.

The truth is that all of the progress made so far in our fight against the climate crisis is largely due to the activism of individuals and a wide range of organizations such as community groups, labor unions, non-profit organizations. government, and Indigenous groups. Youth voices on the climate crisis have of course been instrumental in raising public awareness and creating momentum for the formation of a global climate movement, which is our only hope to achieve the goal of sustainability. for all life on Earth.

The irony is that, in fact, no sober and rational human being can delude themselves about the challenge humanity faces in the 21st century. It undoubtedly takes a high level of ignorance, coupled with a heavy dose of misanthropy, to ignore the fact that the world faces a titanic struggle over how to save the planet.

Moreover, there is no mystery as to how humanity can avoid a possible collapse of the civilized order as we have known it. A global Green New Deal is our only hope of saving the planet from the disastrous effects of global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Decarbonization coupled with natural climate solutions such as reforestation are essential to ensure that humanity does not find itself trapped in a conundrum: “Hell’s gates are locked inside”.

There is no other choice at this time. It’s still unclear to what extent technology can be a part of the solution at some point in the future, and we surely don’t have the luxury of waiting to see if emerging technologies can solve the climate crisis.

Also, let us have no illusions about the global Green New Deal project. It is not some sort of utopian dream, as its opponents seem to suggest. Research, for example, carried out by economists at the famous Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst shows with indisputable clarity that the implementation of the Green New Deal project will not only spare us the aggravating effects. global warming crisis, but will also ensure sustainable development and a just transition.

But, perhaps more importantly, there are already dozens of organizations around the world working hard to turn the vision of the Green New Deal into reality. For example, ReImagine Appalachia, a collection of individuals and organizations seeking to ‘build sustainable Appalachians in the 21st century’, restore damaged land and water, reshape the power grid, build a sustainable transportation system, reforest the region, while promoting trade union rights and ensuring that extractive industry workers remain essential parts of the workforce in the post-fossil fuel economy.

Mass organization is of course essential to achieving the goals set by Reimagine Appalachia. Amanda Woodrum, Principal Investigator, Policy Matters Ohio, and Co-Director of the ReImagine Appalachia Project, says ReImagine Appalachia “reaches out and engages a wide variety of stakeholders – work, faith, environment, racial justice, criminal justice reform advocates, local elected officials and others. “

Indeed, participation from below is the key to ensuring a societal transformation towards sustainability. As Amanda Woodrum so eloquently put it truth, this is the only way for “the Appalachians to remain on the climate table, otherwise it will be on the menu”.

In addition, ReImagine Appalachia appears to have developed a very effective local councilor outreach strategy, which, according to Amanda Woodrum, “has obtained a number of local councilor approvals and passed community resolutions in several communities.” Equally important, the organization launched BLAC, the Black Appalachian Coalition, an initiative led by black women, as the black Appalachians have been hit hardest by the downward mobility of the neoliberal project since the 1980s.

The results of international climate summits are very disheartening, but the work being done at the local level by researchers and activists in the fight against humanity’s greatest existential crisis is quite inspiring.

So, yes, the coming struggle promises to be tough and brutal, but the “general will” can still prevail in the end, even under the most horrific of circumstances, if the people are ready to fight for the good cause. And no cause can be more sacred than saving planet Earth.

Source link