COP26 concluded last weekend, with the conference’s final statement receiving mixed responses. Experts and the media around the world have largely agreed that it’s a start, but that the commitments are nowhere near enough to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees celsius this century.
A key disappointment was the change in wording on the subject of coal from ‘phase out’ to ‘phase down’.
Whilst Delhi is in lockdown over pollution levels, coal-dependent countries such as India and Australia put pressure on the rest of the negotiating teams to remove the commitment to end coal production from the statement. Nonetheless, ‘phasing down’ is still better than we’ve seen before at these sorts of conferences…
So what happens next? The main takeaway is that we must keep working to show politicians around the world how important climate commitments are. We can do this by voting, writing to our MPs, getting involved with local politics, educating ourselves on the economy and the environment, joining protests, and being activists in our communities. We are always stronger together than we are alone, and whether that’s committing to ‘veganuary’ with your group of friends, getting the train to see your family instead of driving,or organising a citizens’ assembly on the environment in your local area, any action is better than none.
The triple environmental crises we are living through, of climate, biodiversity, and of land degradation, need not be inevitable. We can get ourselves and our home out of this mess, and lead better lives for it too. Working to put pressure on businesses, government, and the rest of your community will be so important, so don’t lose hope!