COP26 12 days that will change the world
The first 2 weeks of November will see world leaders arrive in Glasgow for COP26. COP stands for “conference of the parties” and this is the 26th of such meetings.
The aim of COP26 is to finalise “implementation guidelines” for Article 6 of the Paris 2015 Agreement. The Paris agreement aims to keep global temperature rise to below 1.5oC and article 6 covers “cooperative approaches” to tackling climate change. Cop26 is where countries will lay out their NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), their plans to cut carbon emissions by 2030. Currently, the vast majority of NDCs are way short of what is required to comply with the Paris Agreement, so massive action is required here.
There are 5 priority areas for discussion at COP 26 and these are: Adaptation & Resilience, Nature, Energy Transition, Clean Road Transport, and Finance. Countries will decide on their plans to commit to climate goals and how the future is financed. They will decide on which communities will be saved from the worst effects of climate change and those that will be left to bear its full force alone.
This is why civil society and environmental NGOs are pushing hard to do everything we can to achieve a good outcome at this pivotal moment in time.
At Save Our Rivers we have huge concerns around the possible outcomes. Concerns that our last wild places will be sacrificed chasing the cheapest and easiest routes to reducing emissions, therefore plunging the planet into a biodiversity crisis every bit as deadly as climate change. Concerns that developed countries will cut carbon but maintain consumption by telecoupling their environmental impacts to poorer nations and the indigenous communities that care for over 80% of the worlds biodiversity. Concerns that chasing false climate solutions like hydropower will lead to greater global warming in the long run through impacts on the carbon cycle, loss of carbon sequestering habitat, and direct methane emissions from reservoirs.
Save Our Rivers has 3 main calls for decision-makers at COP26
Freshwater species populations have suffered an 84% decline since just 1970. The worlds remaining free-flowing rivers are far more valuable to biodiversity, the carbon cycle, and human society than they are to energy production, and they must be protected.
Nations should be unable to count the production of new hydropower in their NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions).
There must be a prohibition of funds committed under the Paris Agreement being used for the construction of new hydropower dams.
Save Our Rivers has joined with 300 organisations from 69 countries in the signing of a Rivers for Climate Global Declaration calling on governments and leaders attending COP26 to protect river ecosystems and stop using scarce climate funds to finance false climate solutions such as hydropower.
Working with our friends at Free Rivers Fund we are funding the travel expenses of a youth representative of the Metis Nation, an indigenous Western Canadian people impacted and displaced by dam construction, and a NAMRA (North American Megadam Resistance Alliance) representative to attend COP26 in person. Indigenous people are the most impacted by the effects of hydropower construction and their voices are rarely heard when decisions are being made. We hope to play a tiny part in correcting this.
What can you do?
If you play, you must protect, so we are calling on the outdoors community to show up and let world leaders know that action is needed, and it’s needed now.
On Saturday 6th November, the negotiations focus on Nature, and there’s no better community to stand up for nature and the wild places than those whose very identity depends on it.
We are joining our friends at Protect Our Winters UK both on the ground in Glasgow and across the globe for a Global Day of Action.
Join Us In Person
There will be a family friendly gathering and march from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green in Glasgow on Saturday 6th of November. Click Here to register your intention to come, and you can find out through the facebook event.
You can also join an action closer to home - to find your local action click here.
Join Us From Afar
If you can’t make it to Glasgow in person, you can still add your voice from your local wild place. Share your calls for action across social media with #OutdoorsForAction and #COP26