COP26: We Must Rely on Ourselves, Not the Governments of the World!

People in Lahore, Pakistan protest the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference. (Image Credit: Arif Ali)

About 100,000 protestors from around the world showed up in Glasgow to protest the COP26 climate conference.  But that’s not all.  Around the globe, people are gathering to say that we’ve had enough. Extinction Rebellion members alone have reported hosting actions against COP26 around the world, including in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Egypt, Pakistan, South Africa, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Liberia, Serbia, Mexico, Zambia, South Korea, Sweden, Italy, Australia, the U.S., and the U.K.

The climate crisis is GLOBAL. And we see people from every corner of the world standing up to say we must put an end to it.

So why are the so-called world leaders continuing to respond as individual nations, with individual responsibilities? Biden has even said, “America is back,” and “America showed up,” a political stab at the leaders of Russia and China for not joining the conference, not to mention his predecessor, Donald Trump. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the supposed progressive Democrat, is speaking in terms of national responsibility, saying “America is back, America is different.” In fact, 75% of financial aid given to other countries by the U.S. for climate change mitigation are loans, not grants. So, the U.S. is using the climate crisis as a way to exploit and profit off of other, weaker national economies. When protestors worldwide are uniting and showing that we cannot address this problem in isolation, why are those in power making decisions and statements that encourage dividing nations and protecting “national economies”?

The answer is that Biden and the other so-called “world leaders” are more concerned with their selfish, nationalistic, pro-business politics than with saving the world.

And if there was any doubt left about what COP26 is trying to accomplish, a watchdog group, Global Witness, revealed that over 500 fossil fuel lobbyists are attending the climate conference, representing more than 100 fossil fuel companies and taking more seats than any single country at the summit. When asked about this outrageous number of paid lobbyists,  organizers of the conference pointed fingers at individual countries for including the lobbyists in their delegations.

We’ve had ENOUGH. We see that our struggles everywhere are not – and cannot be – addressed by any individual nation or by a group of leaders who would rather represent profitable fossil fuel corporations. There will be no plan to save ourselves and the world around us unless we fight and organize for it – globally.