COP 26

COP26: Glasgow to host UN climate change summit in 2020

Climate Change: 

What is COP26, and why is it happening in Glasgow in 2020? 

The COP26 event is a global summit about climate change and what nations are planning to do to tackle it. It will take place in Glasgow from 9 - 19 November with 200 world leaders due to attend.

What does COP stand for?

COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and will be attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty agreed 1994. This year's meeting will be the 26th meeting, which is why it's called COP26. The last conference, COP25, was held in Madrid, Spain, in November 2019 with Greta Thunberg giving a big speech at the event.

The COP meeting in Madrid finished with lots of big issues unresolved, but an agreement was made about cutting carbon dioxide - a gas that causes global warming. Each nation agreed to devise a plan to cut their carbon emissions by the 2020 conference in Glasgow. Newsround

Developing countries and climate campaigners are growing increasingly concerned that the UK lacks a clear strategy for hosting vital UN talks on the climate crisis, amid fears of a conflict of interest in government between seeking post-Brexit trade deals and a global climate settlement.

The potential conflicts of interest were clearly illustrated at the UK-Africa summit less than a fortnight ago, when Boris Johnson boasted of ending UK funding of coal-fired power plants in Africa – though there had been no such funding since 2002. But at the same conference, nearly £2bn of investment was poured into African oil and gas. Guardian

Spending Creative Energy

Part of the problem of Climate breakdown is explaining to people how the component parts of this worldly phenomenon are and will effect their lives at the local level. If the cost of just policing this event could exceed £200m, which is only part of the budget. The question for us could be. How do we invest our creative energy into our own fringe summit? 

Whether the Government has or has no clear strategy for hosting this conference it opens up an opportunity for people on the ground not only to mobilise on to the street but also to mobilise education in our communities. What will our legacy be for COP 26, in opening the alternatives up to ordinary people? How do we bring understanding to the many who may feel intimidated by progressive groups that will populate our city during the COP 26, as well as the hiking up of security apparatus that will probably stay after the carnival leaves town.

Why wait for something to happen then be reactive. We need pro-active direct action not just reactive protest. The protest needs to happen within proactive activity and have defined strategies that ordinary members of the public can engage with and directly benefit from if we are to advance a grass roots movement. Or we could rely on the government?

The Scottish government are making £80.000.000, for an active travel budget. That is for cycle track, walking space, mass transit. This is money that goes to quangos, that drain most of this budget to create plausibility fo the administrations in power that positive action has been taken. Why isn't this budget spent on communities on their own solutions for their own problems rather than being absorbed by quangos. Why is much of the positive work going on in our communities remaining invisible? Answer. Because it directly challenges, quangos, privatisation, and self serving administrations.  

Who should the investment be for:

Campaigns like "Get Glasgow Moving" determined to create a publicly owned transport system set up as a not for profit cooperative. For instance the way the public owned tram system was run in Glasgow in the past, as part of the common good fund, which run on time, made a profit which was returned to the burghs to maintain their infrastructure. This is a project, (Get Glasgow Moving) that could directly effect the environment and have a positive impact on the %50 of Glaswegians who do not own cars. 

The biggest impact on the environment by an individual is how and where they live, and what they spend their money on. Getting homes maintaining them and heating them. How folk are enticed to spend their money without thought of the consequences, without any encouragement to asses the impact of consumption. Technology being abused for the production of endless junk, sold to people with the cynical understanding of built in flaws to guarantee business of instantly obsoleting last years designs, for new junk. There are answers and solutions to these problems, but again are invisible to the people who need them most.

We need to strike for climate but also strike for learning, strike for access, the freedom for people to innovate around their own issues. The COP 26 could offer an opportunity for activists and educators to get out to the peripherals of the city, out to the communities, not just with community gardening but with community learning for change. Not just about teaching why the war is bad, but finding answers to the pragmatic questions that bother people, that stop them being involved in what is probably the worst existential threat of their lifetime 

Get Glasgow Moving Website