COP26: are they taking it seriously?
We’re going to need more than luck to avert the coming climate catastrophe. Curtis Daly asks if the political and business “leaders” at COP26 are taking things seriously.
Scotland is currently hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties.
Whilst the rhetoric seems to have been ramped up on the urgent need to take action, unsurprisingly we are hearing more bark than bite.
Some good promises have been made, with parties agreeing on an end to deforestation by 2030. However, we cannot allow individual policies and incrementalism to get all of the attention.
G20 leaders were seen throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Italy ahead of the COP26 event to try and acquire luck in tackling the biggest issue facing humankind. I can now feel much more relaxed knowing that these people who are in positions to actually change things are pretending that doing so is in the hands of fate. You are the world’s leaders! We don’t need luck, we need serious action.
And that’s it; that video encapsulates the whole predicament we’re in. We are simply not taking this seriously enough. Boris Johnson thinks it’s OK to fly to and from a summit all about protecting the environment.
As a man who’s tried to reinvent himself as an environmentalist, (which is bullsh*t anyway), it seems he has a nice little habit of jet-setting in luxury. The PM has spent £216,000 on private flights emitting an estimated 52 tons of CO2. I mean, we don’t expect him to make any sacrifices do we? The poor sod needs to travel in style, right?
Although it was nice to see him being held to account for once… and it was by the BBC ….
“It makes you look a little bit weasley, not answering the coal question, because they’re going to go ‘and you’re talking about coal’”.
Sorry, uh, sorry I…
Yep, that was our PM calling on other countries to stop using coal mines whilst not doing the same here.
Let’s see what the US can bring to the table!
Well, it was nice to see Jeff Bezos make an appearance, a perfect ambassador of capitalism to speak about climate change.
There’s nothing at all ironic about the fact that Amazon’s carbon footprint rose by 19% in 2020, totalling 60.64 million metric tons, and the use of fossil fuels increased by 69%. Or the fact that he blasted himself off to space in a very… odd shaped rocket for 4 minutes.
Yep, it’s totally normal that he was invited.
Rather than invite these global elites, we should be aiming our sights at them.
The richest 1% contribute more than twice the emissions of the poorest 50% of humanity, and corporations contribute 70% of global emissions.
Do you really think we will get meaningful change? Our world leaders are often backed by big money interests; are you convinced they have the guts to make the changes necessary to save our home?
No, I think we’ll get our mate Bezos to give a nice speech, make a couple of greenwashing ads, and then go back to business as usual.
There’s still an element of the blame game with the West constantly talking about China. Everybody needs to play their part, and yes, China is the world’s biggest polluter. But let’s dive into it.
China’s population is 1.4 billion, so right off the bat there’s a clear reason as to why China emits so much. Having said that, when measuring countries’ pollution per capita, we can see that Qatar is way at the top with 37.05 percent, and China way below at 7.72, with the US at 15.74.
The second point is that China has very high exports. Because China was shrewd enough to build everything, of course its emissions will be higher because it’s the world’s leading manufacturer. The rest of the world is externalising their emissions by having a great deal of what they consume made in China.
So instead of looking at China as the biggest threat, we should be looking at ourselves. Despite the UK hosting COP26, documents published by the Department for International Trade shows that Britain is seeking to increase fossil fuel production in many of the countries taking part in the conference..
It might be worth looking at the US and how it spends its money – a clue, not very wisely. Currently, the US military budget stands at $788bn, whilst Joe Biden has only pledged $36bn towards tackling climate change in his 2022 budget. That’s pennies in comparison.
There must be someone out there who can save us? Hmmm, who could it be… I know, the queen!
Climate change cannot be solved whilst we still operate under capitalism; anything else is just performative nonsense.
The planet has finite resources with capitalism’s desire for infinite growth. A forest has no value to capital until a tree is cut down. This system is completely antagonistic to the natural world. Inviting Bezos, suggesting incremental changes, and pledging targets that are much too far away won’t cut it.
We need system change, not climate change.
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