I must admit to being a bit behind the curve when it comes to COP26. The conference seemed to promise so much, with all its surrounding hype and yet I can’t get a sense of what has been achieved if anything.
I know that deals have been struck around methane reduction, stopping investment in fossil fuels and a reduction in the use of coal but there seems to be so much nacksiding and watering down of the texts that I think no one can say exactly what has been agreed.
If you know, please point me in the right direction.
I was struck however by images outside of the COP26 conference hall, of the attending world leaders’ motor cavalcades waiting outside, some with their engines running. I gather that most of their passengers had flown into the airport on private jets. It all seems odd and ironic for a conference to address anthropological climate change.
The fact that the Prime Minister flew back from Glasgow to London to attend a dinner (hosted by a climate change denier), among other things, just adds to my feeling that we are doomed and that climate change cannot be corrected by the system that got us there in the first place. Downing Street’s claim to be using sustainable fuel in the airplane just made a mockery of the whole thing.
I get that it is almost impossible to arrange a global conference without the use of planes, these things just won’t work online. I also get that heightened security is required around such events and bullet proof cars are needed for some delegates. I also get that in the grand scheme of things a few more plane journeys means doodly squat in terms of emissions.
What galls me however is that these actions send a clear message that, if those people who are supposed to be solving the problems aren’t prepared to change their ways then why should anyone else? This is the most dangerous message to come out of COP26, not that people do these things but that they are seen to do them.
I see little reason to be hopeful.