COP26 – What can we do?

We have a problem. It is has been proved that human activity is destroying the earth. The science has been clear for decades; burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) is responsible for climate change. We have been lied to by fossil fuel companies such as Shell and BP. They are spending trillions of dollars supressing data, greenwashing and discrediting climate science for years, and now some of them are on trial in the US.  The fossil fuel industry benefits from subsidies of $11m every minute, according to analysis by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They make huge profits whilst polluting and brutalising the planet resulting in a rise in temperature causing a catastrophe for all living things.

Global warming as a result of human greenhouse gas emissions is having a catastrophic effect on our planet. Our climate is changing, with more frequent extreme weather events, such as: wildfires in the Greece, US and Australia; heatwaves in North America and Russia; flooding in England, Germany and China. Some changes are now irreversible, the polar icecaps are melting, sea levels are rising dramatically, oceans are heating-up destroying coral reefs and marine life, many animal species are becoming extinct.  Land and sea are becoming uninhabitable resulting in mass migration and loss of human and animal life.

The rich in the richest nations are the most responsible for this global climate crisis and the poor are the first to suffer the consequences.

A recent report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) said it’s code red for humanity’. It will not affect some imagined future generations in other countries –  it’s happening to people living NOW and WILL have an impact on you, your children and your grandchildren.  It’s literally on our doorstep – the recent flooding in London will now be a regular occurrence we have to adapt to. Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK, with around 36,000 deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure. 

Solutions are available

As Sir David Attenborough said in his opening speech to COP26 delegates this week, are we doomed because we are “failing to see the bigger picture in pursuit of short-term goals?” However, he urged world leaders to “turn this tragedy in to a triumph” he also said, “we are after all the greatest problem solvers that ever existed on Earth” and “We must fix our sights on keeping below 1.5 degrees.” We have a choice we can put this in reverse as solutions are available and we will all benefit.

We are after all the greatest problem solvers that ever existed on Earth.”

Sir David Attenborough, COP26 People’s Advocate.

This month world leaders are meeting for COP26 in Glasgow to discuss how they work together to limit temperature rises to 1.5C. Should we sit back and wait for them to provide the answers? No. They are falling very far short of meeting the targets set by the Paris agreement in 2015. We must do everything we can to protect our loved ones and our environment because every individual action does make a difference. If we don’t act, can we look our children and young people in the eye and say “I did everything I could to reverse this climate catastrophe and improve our environment?”

There’s a decision to make; do we stand by and watch our own destruction over the next decade or do we act now. We all have busy lives but there is time, it can be found. As individuals we can make changes by altering our behaviour right now, this week you can reduce: car use; consumption and waste; eat less meat and lobby your leaders and politicians to enable us to make better choices.  

Together we are stronger

It’s not too late, get involved and use your energy to find solutions not problems. We need to work together and ensure no one is left behind because together we are stronger. Where ever you are on join millions of people on Saturday 6th November for the Global Day of Action and show world leaders the time for action is now.  It’s expected 100,000 people will march at COP26 in Glasgow, the other main march is here in London – Global Day of Action, 12pm, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London. See COP26coalition.org for details.

If you’re not able to join the march there are many other ways to get involved. Whatever your interests and skills they are needed. Join us and become a member or join another community group such as islingtonalliance.com or lowtrafficislington.org or national organisations like the Friends of the Earth or Greenpeace.  Whatever you do, get informed and ACT NOW!

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