Reacting to the conclusion of COP26 in Glasgow, Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:
“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters.
“While the deal recognises the need for deep emissions cuts this decade, those commitments have been punted to next year. Young people who’ve come of age in the climate crisis won’t tolerate many more outcomes like this. Why should they when they’re fighting for their futures?
“Glasgow was meant to deliver on firmly closing the gap to 1.5C and that didn’t happen, but in 2022 nations will now have to come back with stronger targets. The only reason we got what we did is because young people, Indigenous leaders, activists and countries on the climate frontline forced concessions that were grudgingly given. Without them, these climate talks would have flopped completely. Our once stable climate is now breaking down around us, you see it every day in wildfires, hurricanes, droughts and melting ice. Time’s up, we’ve run out of road, and as a matter of self-survival we need to urgently mobilise to create irrepressible pressure that finally ends the era of all fossil fuels.”
“COP26 saw progress on adaptation, with the developed countries finally beginning to respond to the calls of developing countries for funding and resources to cope with rising temperatures. There was a recognition that vulnerable countries are suffering real loss and damage from the climate crisis now, but what was promised was nothing close to what’s needed on the ground. This issue must be at the top of the agenda for developed countries as the COP goes to Egypt next year.
“The line on phasing out unabated coal and fossil fuel subsidies is weak and compromised but its very existence is nevertheless a breakthrough, and the focus on a just transition is essential. The call for emissions reductions of 45% by the end of this decade is in line with what we need to do to stay under 1.5C and brings the science firmly into this deal. But it needs to be implemented.
“The offsets scam got a boost in Glasgow with the creation of new loopholes that are too big to tolerate, endangering nature, Indigenous Peoples and the 1.5C goal itself. The UN Secretary General announced that a group of experts will bring vital scrutiny to offset markets, but much work still needs to be done to stop the greenwashing, cheating and loopholes giving big emitters and corporations a pass.”
Climate change is happening. Those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis are the most at risk. That’s why a growing number of communities are taking legal action: to hold governments and fossil fuel companies accountable and to secure their rights to a stable climate and healthy environment.