Do I think we save the world with one last COP? Perhaps yes, if we do it together.
Without equal representation from the Global South, where these effects will be most severely felt, there is no hope that just solutions will be found and met.
In many ways, COP is bad in that it’s failing to achieve the measures that are so desperately needed to avert the climate crisis and achieve climate justice. But, COP is an opportunity for us in the UK to push our politicians to take stronger action on climate change. ‘People Make Glasgow’ is the official slogan adopted by Glasgow City Council in 2013 – I don’t think it was meant to refer explicitly to the slave trade that helped to build the city but the council openly acknowledge this history, and COP26 is an opportunity to highlight the impacts of historical and current colonialism.
Draft Agreement 1/CP.25, for instance, calls for all Parties to revise and enhance their Nationally Determined Commitments — their mitigation and adaptation intentions — by October 2020. Regrettably, the draft is not framed as a mandate, merely as advice.
The simple truth of it is, there is no way out of our climate emergency without an emergency committee to organize a coordinated global response. You might say the United Nations is a poor choice for that role and I would agree, except that all the other choices are far worse.