COP26: Are World Leaders Listening?

World leaders are meeting in Glasgow now to present their national pledges for emissions reductions, and climate finance, following on the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2015. President Joe Biden and the rest of the huge U.S. delegation, including Climate Envoy John Kerry, are walking into these talks with little in hand. The Build Back Better legislation is slowly going through negotiations, and many critical human service measures have been abandoned in the negotiation process. Climate funding is focused more towards corporate carbon offsets (a false solution) while regulatory approaches were gutted.

We will not see climate justice and the kinds of transformative solutions needed delivered by corporations or national leaders without an upswelling of pressure from below. It will take all of us and hundreds of thousands more coming together through collective action and global movements for systemic change to get to what is needed within the next decade.

Government policies, not just empty promises, need to be in place for global temperature rise to go no higher than 1.5 degrees Celsius (it’s bad enough already at 1.2 degrees!), since the world is currently on a course towards nearly 3 degrees C. Current government and corporate net zero targets let emissions continue to grow dangerously while greenwashing with carbon offsets.

We need and demand:

  • concrete actions starting now towards REAL zero
  • an end to new/phase out of existing fossil fuel investments and subsidies
  • decreases in emissions by 10% annually
  • a shift to renewable energies and carbon sequestration strategies
  • a just transition, with decent jobs and social services
  • climate justice with reparations and redistribution to the Global South and frontline communities

On November 6, starting at 4:30 pm, 43 SW Naito Parkway, we are gathering locally to participate in the Global Day for Action on Climate Justice, supported by the COP26 coalition. Please join us and help to spread the word! Throughout the two weeks of COP26, we are highlighting local events that focus on climate justice. Check out the calendar of events.

About Diana Meisenhelter

Diana Meisenhelter has been involved on the Action Team of XRPDX since January 2019.  She served on the Extinction Rebellion US National Restructure Working Group proposal for a year and a half.  Active in antiracist, social justice, labor, and environmental organizing since the early 1970s, Diana has over 50 years of experience in movements for justice.


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