The Climate Covenant

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COP26 Is Upon Us.

May We Do What Is Necessary.

COP26 graphic

This summit is our last, best hope to do the things that are necessary to give humans a fighting chance against global warming and climate change.

COP26 is about to happen. The big question is, “Will anything substantive happen?”

Based on the actions (mostly inactions) of the majority of governments around the world so far, the chances are not good. 

COP26

The United Nations Climate Change Conference runs from 31 October through 12 November in Glasgow, Scotland. “COP26” stands for conference of the parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This is the 26th such summit.

According to the United Nations:

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

That’s a nice way of saying:

“Nothing much has been done so far and the human race’s potential for survival is in jeopardy, so we better get off our collective asses and do something substantive”

The latest research and polls suggest a significant majority of people around the world are concerned about climate change and its impacts on our planet’s habitability, but so-called leaders have not been doing much about it. In fact, global emissions continue to increase year over year. That’s not because you and I drive our vehicles to the grocery store; it’s because governments and the world’s largest corporations have the collective heads stuck in the proverbial sand. We’re accelerating toward climate tipping points ever faster, and likely have already blown by many.

COP26 is quite possibly our last, best hope to make a difference, to curb emissions in the hope of slowing climate change decades from now and ensuring the viability of all species on the planet.

It’s not too late yet. It soon will be. Nations participating in COP26 must act. The time is now. 

An Extinction Rebellion graphic warning world leaders they are being watched during COP26
We’re with Extinction Rebellion on this one.

What Needs to Happen at COP26

Global Citizen’s overall message to world leaders for COP26:

The climate crisis is wreaking havoc around the world and is disproportionately impacting vulnerable communities and people living in poverty. As Global Citizens, we urge you to:

  • Stop climate change by committing to ambitious mitigation plans that cut emissions and keep the world within 1.5 degrees of warming.
  • Ensure support to build resilience for marginalized communities and people living in poverty who are already bearing the brunt of climate change’s consequences.
  • Support lower income countries’ efforts to cut their own emissions and make green investments.

You have the power to set us down a path to a safe and stable future but you must act now and boldly.

Global Citizen Staff Writer Joe McCarthy is more specific in his “5 Things That Must Happen at COP26 So It’s Not a Failure.” (Check out McCarthy’s full piece for more detail on each item.) 

We agree with all of them:

  • $100 billion in annual climate funding for developing countries
  • Climate targets in line with 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • More companies joining the “Race to Zero”
  • Support for 1t.org’s nature-based solutions
  • Listen to activists

That last would be a good one for the likes of us, fellow Knights.

The Knights COP26 List

Our list is a little more specific (if you’d like to add items, please get in touch):

  • End financing for fossil fuels through whatever means are necessary.
  • End fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Incorporate externalities, such as impacts to biodiversity, the climate, environment and human health in cost-benefit analyses for any new construction project.
  • Attach a financial penalty, based on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted, to corporate taxes.
  • Close tax loopholes for big corporations of all kinds.
  • Force the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. Invest the additional income into climate-change remediation and resiliency measures.
  • Incentivize innovation in sustainability and conservation.
  • Incentivize renewable energy development.

Past performance aside, have hope. Make noise. Let governments and their COP26 delegates know we’re not going to put up with inaction, deceptive accounting, middle-of-the-roadism or kick-the-can-down-the-roadism anymore.

Finally, demand better for the climate, ourselves and our global neighbors. Remember, #AllForOneEarthOneEarthForAll

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