As the world turned it’s attention to COP26 this week & World Leaders from all over the world have convened at the Glasgow based summit; high expectations are abound from around the world.
As the delegates started to take their seats, a montage of the Global Goals Voices was played out in the background. Young people from all over the world & from all cultures, voiced their concerns about the direct impact advancing climate change was having on them now & the expectations they had of the attendees at the summit.
“Sustainability should be the norm, not the exception”
“We need large corporations to be responsible”
“World leaders need to work together”
“We already have the solutions; we just need to use them” (1)
Another montage, this time with a voice over from Professor Brian Cox – Physicist. Professor Cox posed a very real & posing question, targeting every single human on planet Earth.
“Imagine Earth is the only place in our galaxy where life exists. Therefore, how should we behave? We must consider our world to be inconceivably valuable” (1)
Writer, Poet & Storyteller Yrsa Daley-Ward then performed a poem with a very clear message
“Now is all we have left. Anything later than now is too little, too late.” “Ancestors of tomorrow, this is an intervention” & her final line, so poignant & targeted at every single world leader in attendance “Nothing will change without you” (1)
Once two more of the Global Goal Voices representing the indigenous peoples had addressed the congregation, exploring & explaining how advancing climate change is currently directly changing the trajectory of their entire cultures existence; it was time for the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to layout the framework for COP26.
Boris Johnson alluded to a James Bond analogy for his description of the current climate crisis. He explored the notion that at the end of each James Bond film, it would usually see Bond having to save the world from some kind of doomsday device. Johnson concluded his analogy by saying that “the tragedy was about climate change that this is not a movie & the doomsday device is real”
To set a sufficiently stark tone to the summit, Johnson continued:
“Quilting the Earth is a suffocating blanket of Co2 – man made. Scientists have told us that at 2°C we will jeopardise our food supplies, at 3°C we will see a vast increase in devastating wildfires & droughts & at 4°C we can say goodbye to entire cities such as Miami, Alexandria & Shanghai. It is 1 minute to midnight on the doomsday machine & we need to act now” (1)
Sir David Attenborough, who has been acting on behalf of planet Earth for all of his adult life, addressed the attendees with a stern & passionate tone. The desperation for something to be done & done now could be heard in his tone of voice & his accusatory remarks were based on his research & physical observations of a lifetime of watching biodiversity & nature be slowly but surely destroyed & changed forever by the activities of human beings.
“A new industrial revolution powered by millions of sustainable innovations is essential & is indeed already beginning is happening right now.” (1)
“Is this how our story is due to end? A tale of the smartest species doomed by that all too characteristic of failing to see the bigger picture in pursuit of short term goals?” (1)
“If working apart we are a force powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it. In my lifetime I have seen a terrible decline. In yours you could & should witness a wonderful recovery. That desperate hope, is why the world is looking to you and why you are here” (1)
With this bleak & stark opening to the COP26 summit, scientists, leaders, climate activists & people all over the world were relieved but naturally sceptical about the pledges which started to be made in the first few days of COP26.
“10,000 years ago Earth was home to an estimated 6 trillion trees. By the end of the last century, that number has been halved. To keep below 1.5°C , we must halt deforestation & begin restoring forests around the world” Sir David Attenborough
On Tuesday 2nd November 2021, over 100 leaders representing 85% of the world’s forests pledged to end deforestation by 2030, this included Brazil, the US & China amongst it’s signatories.
The move seeks to preserve critical forests that can absorb carbon dioxide & slow the rise in global warming.
Announced in September, the pledge asks countries to cut their methane emissions by 30% over 2020-30 & agree to stronger reporting standards. US President Joe Biden announced “nine countries had signed on” in September, but “today, it’s over 80 and approaching 100 countries”. (US climate envoy John Kerry later clarified that “we’re up to 105”.) (2)
As well as the US & EU nations, these include Indonesia, Canada, Brazil and the UK. In total, the number of countries signed up represents “nearly half the global methane emissions” and “70% of global GDP”, Biden noted. (2)
According to the EU and US, delivering on the pledge “would reduce warming by at least 0.2C by 2050”. (2)
Written & cited by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2.