COP26 has failed once again. The agreement reached is insufficient. Country commitments remain scarce and do not prevent the worst effects of climate change, especially for the countries of the Global South.
Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground!
It is the first time that fossil fuels have been mentioned in the final deal after years of rejection. Rather than opting for the total end of all fossil fuel subsidies, the countries chose to continue the use of so-called ‘efficient’ subsidies which include gas and also coal as long as it is not used for energy production. The huge amounts of coal and emissions of steel production for example are completely left out. It is detrimental to imply that efficient fossil fuels exist. The only good fossil fuels are those that stay in the ground. We say “not one more drop of any fossil fuel”.
Originally, a commitment for “accelerating efforts towards the phase-out of unabated coal” was part of the decision text. In the last minutes of the negotiations this decision was blocked and in the last second, the text was changed from “phase out” to now only “phase down” – nobody knows what this means, how this will be measured and it will definitely not be enough to stop the climate crisis. And we urgently demand all countries to set a date for the end of all fossil fuels globally.
Climate Justice Now!
Climate financing for the countries of the Global South and the vindication of their rights remain a ghost in these negotiations. The Loss and Damage Fund, intended to make polluting countries pay for the destruction they cause in the most affected areas, has been stripped down to a ‘workshop’ by huge pressure of the EU, UK and US. Additionally the finance provided by rich countries to the Global South for Adaptation to the climate crisis happens mostly through loans and not grants. This creates a one sided dependency relationship and perpetuates climate injustices even more. Furthermore, world leaders continue to break their word by procrastinating the contribution of the 100 billion dollars promised years ago and blocking economic facilities for countries that could lose everything due to climate change.
As the conference ran on, we were on the streets with thousands of other young people demanding for a just transition now and for global climate justice. We want:
– Reparation payments and Redistribution of wealth to the Global South
– Fair sharing of efforts by all rich countries
– Cancel Global South’s debts for all creditors
– Grant-based climate finance for the Global South
– Reparations for losses and damages already occurring in the Global South.
Stop the Silencing of Young and Indigenous voices!
Observers were systematically excluded from the negotiations. They are supposed to observe the negotiations of the International Legal Framework on the Climate Crisis and could not do their job at all. All negotiation meetings were closed for observers and for the World Leaders Summit as well as other plenary discussions, the Youth Constituency which consists of hundreds of Youth NGOs and thousands of young activists, only got 2-4 tickets. This is completely unacceptable and silences young voices whose future is especially affected by the negotiation outcomes. The Indigenous peoples’ constituency was excluded in the same way. Considering the final outcome, it seems that young and indigenous voices that were allowed on stage were used as tokens rather than being taken seriously by the state governments. No more negotiations should take place without the voices of indigenous and young people at the table because our future and human lives are at play and politicians must finally take this seriously.
The Climate Crisis will not be solved by COPs but by Climate Action from the Streets!
Even though all climate-concerned world citizens put high hopes on what the world leaders would decide at this conference. However, they did not break the pattern of the last years that showed that this conference is not more than empty words. Even if they adopted the ambitious Paris Agreement, which we only ask them to adhere to, the earth is now heading towards an overheating of 2.7 C. This shows that the real climate action has to come from the people rising in the streets. We will keep organising to raise the global pressure to finally keep all fossil fuels in the ground, stopping the climate crisis and achieving climate justice. We will not give up.