This week, our co-founder Colombe and Andrea went to COP26 in Glasgow to launch Atlas' campaign #BanFossilFuelsSubsidies! Follow their 12-hour whirlwind trip from Edinburgh to Glasgow and meet activists, politicians from Kenya to Australia!
So...What is COP 26 and Why did we go?
In 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change compelled every country on earth to “avoid dangerous climate change”. There weren't a lot of details on how to do so, but since then countries met every year to “try” to do just that.
This year, the aim is to keep the increase of temperature to 1.5C. However, according to the latest estimation, we are heading toward global warming of 2.7C. As if it is not bad enough, politicians are not very optimistic about reaching a meaningful deal to tackle this climate crisis. Even populist Boris Johnson said it’s “touch & go” whether any deal to adequately curb emission will take place. (Read more here)
So it's pretty clear why we have to go right? Climate action is urgently needed but it's not happening, so we must push countries and governments to do better, to behave more equitably and save our planet.
12 hours at COP 26
We decided to use this opportunity to launch our campaign to #BanFossilFuelsSubsidies (take a minute and sign it), meet key partners & champions, understand better the behind the scenes of climate negotiations and come back without paying thousands of £ for the night.
We met Senator Hanson Young from Australia 🇦🇺, Kevin Mtai and Anita Soina from Kenya 🇰🇪; to discuss how this campaign would impact their country & prepare some communication material! We also walked around with t-shirts for people to "scan us" and ban fossil fuel subsidies.
We only spent 12 hours at COP26... because
Because the accommodations in Glasgow are CRAZY expensive and we could only afford to stay one day. And you know what? we are among the very privileged ones. (Yes we need $ to run campaigns, Donate to help us keep the fight up!)
And there are a lot of absurdities happening around this climate conference.
- Lack of representation and non-accessible: many activists got their accommodations cancelled last minute that they cannot join COP26, a whole lot more cannot even afford to come. Not to mention Israeli minister Karine Elharrar was unable to access COP26 in her wheelchair.
- Over-representation of lobbyists from the fossil fuels industry: Activists group found out that there are at least 503 fossil fuel lobbyists at COP26 this year, making them the largest delegation!
- The communication is a mess. We have been receiving over 4 emails a day with changes. For eg, less than a week ago, Colombe was told that on Monday we can only collect our badges to get in from 2 pm onward (with big queues expected)… it means we lose over half of the one day when we are there, with a last-minute announcement.
- COP didn’t learn from the pandemic to go fully digital: Some 25,000 people travel to Glasgow for it (yes including me, it’s a short train ride away). Many by long flights.
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