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COP26 is over – how far have we come?

With the end of COP26 and the agreement of the Glasgow Climate Pact, voices around the world continue to speak their disappointment and fear about the decisions that were made, and the lack of urgency and drastic action taken by world leaders.

After high hopes for COP26 the results, whilst a step in the right direction, fall short of the radical and immediate response that many climate activists and organisations urged leaders to take. Rich countries failed in their duty to accept responsibility for the damage being done to global communities who are most impacted by the climate crisis, and have been unsuccessful in limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

The Alliance is committed to continued work towards supporting the international community who are most impacted by the effects of the climate crisis, as well as encouraging collaborative, global action being done by our members. We look forward to creating space and hosting events and trainings in 2022 that will provide knowledge and frameworks to move forward as a community.

CEO of The Alliance, Frances Guy said:

The reality is that to meet the target of keeping global heating to 1.5 degrees, the world needs to half carbon emissions by 2030. To do that needs very bold actions now. Whilst there was some progress at COP26 and a sniff of changing direction on fossil fuels, the difficult steps to end investments in fossil fuel extraction, to increase support to poorer countries facing the most damage as a result of climate change, and the pressing need for a sign of change in political will did not happen. 

The Scottish government can show leadership through its own commitments by using the climate justice fund to support those most in need globally, and by joining the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance and commit to ending licensing for oil and gas exploration and production. They need to build on the public’s increased understanding of climate issues to go beyond the government’s own targets on reducing carbon emissions AND take into account the effects on populations round the globe.”

Dr Saleemul Huq, Director at the International Center for Climate Change and Development and Senior Associate at International Institute for Environment & Development said:

“While there was no doubt that some incremental progress was made in Glasgow, it was nowhere near enough.

What makes this even more important is that, unlike all 25 COPs that preceded it, COP26 was the first climate conference in the new era of loss and damage attributable to human-induced climate change. In other words, it is no longer sufficient to try to prevent even bigger impacts of the future by keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, but now, it is even more important to deal with the inevitable losses and damages that are already happening due to the 1.1 degrees Celsius rise of global temperature due to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) since the first industrial revolution came about over a century ago.”

Dr Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, a member of the independent technical advisory panel of the Green Climate Fund from Bangladesh, said:

“No matter how hard we try now, the temperature rise will be between 2.5 and 2.8 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. We’ve deviated from our pledge at this conference. So, I describe the outcome of the conference as frustrating.”

Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said:

“World leaders arrived at COP26 knowing that this summit needed to be a turning point in tackling the climate crisis, but instead of committing to the emissions cuts needed to keep temperature rises below 1.5 degrees, they again ‘kicked the can down the road’.

“While we’ve seen some announcements during these talks which, if delivered, could make a difference, many are vague and non-binding. The negotiated deal, the Glasgow Climate Pact, fails to reflect the urgency of reducing emissions now. It is essential that countries significantly strengthen their climate plans well before COP27 next year. Further delay will cost lives.” 

Following the huge protests in Glasgow, with both the youth Fridays for Future march, and the Saturday Global Day of Action march bringing together unprecedented numbers of concerned citizens, climate activists across the United Kingdom are continuing to drive for change, and are now actively trying to stop the development of Cambo oil field, off the coast of Shetland.

There is much work to be done by the global development sector to continue pushing for the rights and voices of those most impacted around the world – at our recent Annual Conference ‘The growing imperative: climate action, well-being and equity’ we gathered worldwide experts and leaders to discuss how the sector can move forward and continue holding richer countries to account. 

Catch up on #AllianceConf2021 to continue to conversation and keep momentum going following COP26.

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