• Michael Laxer

"COP26 continues the legacy of profit over people and planet, but the people will prevail"

Global social movements and civil society organizations are demanding much better than what COP26 delivered.

Massive protests in Glasgow during COP26, November 6 -- image via Twitter


A coalition of global social movements and civil society organizations have released a statement calling out COP26.


The Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice November 12 statement reads in part:


Even before it began, COP26 was presented as a resounding success. Those of us who could find a way around the vaccine apartheid, “hostile environment”, constantly changing quarantine rules, challenges of visa processing, and exhorbitant prices which made the ‘most inclusive summit in history’ the most exclusionary ever, found ourselves locked out of the negotiations. Meanwhile the fossil fuel industry and other merchants of misery had a red carpet welcome, and made up the single largest delegation at COP26. We came to Glasgow and found ourselves in Davos, policed heavily while the criminals were feted.
For days we were force-fed long pronouncements, speeches and declarations from so-called world leaders in government and business, who descended in their private jets and broke the rules the rest of us were expected to comply with to tell us to applaud them. But being honest we must say these statements are delusions – a distraction from the truth, and a dangerous one at that. For the richest countries, the relationship between affirmation and action doesn’t exist. The ugly reality is that developed countries are all in favour of climate action — as long as they don’t have to do much of the work themselves.

Aderonke Ige, Associate Director of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) in a separate press release, COP26 continues the legacy of profit over people and planet, but the people will prevail, from the Corporate Accountability campaign notes that:


COP26 is a well-disguised charade, dominated by 'big boys' in shiny suits and small rooms, concerned only with protecting their image, profits, and power. Meanwhile, systemic oppression, vaccine apartheid, and private negotiations have excluded the victims of these climate crimes! Without the people's voices and real solutions, COP is just an elite marketplace for environmental criminals.

The statement is endorsed by a long list of international groups. They are demanding:


  1. No more “net zero” lies and empty promises. We demand pathways that urgently and justly deploy real, people-centered solutions to get us to Real Zero by 2030 in developed countries and by 2050 in developing countries.

  2. No more false solutions such as carbon markets and geoengineering which waste time, displace communities, and destroy ecosystems for the profit of polluters and allow wealthy countries to escape their responsibility.

  3. Real solutions to really address the climate crisis must be on the basis and in benefit of local and indigenous communities and grassroots organizations avoiding large scale, extractivist and corporate control projects.

  4. Polluting governments and corporations must pay for the damage they cause. The industries that have fueled the climate crisis, funded climate denial, and blocked action for decades must be held liable. This means ensuring that they are held criminally and financially responsible, and that they are made to end their abusive practices.

  5. Rapid and equitable phase out of fossil fuel production and consumption through a just transition, with each country committing to and delivering on their fair shares of climate action based on historical and continuing responsibilities to benefit local and historically displaced grassroots communities. Clear targets and timetables including for the immediate and near term period to reach global real zero by 2050.

  6. Urgent delivery of climate finance – way beyond the unfulfilled $100 billion per year target, that is sufficient and responsive to the actual climate needs of people and local communities in the Global South. Climate Finance should be public, non-debt creating, and its delivery must follow an inclusive process that will ensure that the contributions are based on equity and fair-shares, and without conditions. Climate finance must include coverage of Loss and Damage. A separate dedicated finance facility must be set up to meet this obligation.

Nathalie Rengifo Alvarez, Latin America Climate Director for Corporate Accountability:


Our future is disappearing in front of our eyes. We know who's responsible, but who will make them pay? Corporations and polluting governments got us into this crisis, but they won't get us out. Only the people will save us. Polluters should be afraid—the UNFCCC [ United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ] may have failed us, but we still have the courts and the streets, and we are millions.
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