So, There’s Some Kind of Party Happening in Glasgow
My thoughts ahead of the upcoming COP26
This will be most written-about inter-governmental climate sleepover to date¹; if you were in any doubt that it’s make or break time, consider how many times you’ve heard “COP26" in the last few weeks and months. That alone should convey urgency and importance.
As such, I’m not planning on spending too much time on analysis or reporting of the conference. There are many better informed people doing this better than I could². Personally I’d recommend getting perspectives from as many different sources and media as you can.
With that in mind, between 31 October and 12 November, I will publish things relevant to my normal publishing schedule³, but I won’t go out of my way to tie things to COP.
To relate this to individual action: in the days leading up to COP26, know what to expect. Look at the government’s recent behaviour on environmental issues, as an indicator on how it views the crisis.
In the past two weeks alone, this government:
- Announced a budget which froze fuel duty, cut levies on domestic aviation, and increased spending on road infrastructure
- Voted against placing legal requirements on water companies to stop them from discharging sewage to water courses, only later to u-turn when they realised just how strong public opinion was
- Wasted time and money turning number 10 into a neon green nightclub entrance
This may be a pessimistic view, but I can’t shake the feeling that the government is throwing a themed Halloween party… but they’re not invested in the theme. Whilst some of the countries turn up in full fancy dress, the UK is wearing normal clothes with a sticker saying, “Hi my name is climate action”
Once we have this knowledge, we must translate it into action: write to your MP or elected representative during COP and demand our governments do more on environmental issues.
Sign every petition you can. Support and champion the work of others. There are lots of people out there fighting the good fight, and they need your support.
Look past the greenwashing and soundbites that are bound to come out of the various meetings and negotiations, and look for concrete actions. Look for the facts amid the inevitable bullshit.