November 1, 2021
COP26, the international climate negotiations currently taking place in Glasgow, officially kicked off with speeches by world leaders at the opening ceremony.
We’ll bring you the voices on the ground over the next couple of weeks – but before we send you coverage on the protests and actions as they unfold, we’ve spoken to some Irish activists about their expectations for the conference.
Theresa O’Donohoe, member of An Taisce Climat
For previous COPs, I was at home in Ireland and wanted to know what was going on. I would get feedback from those I knew. This time, I want to be a channel for the information I collect so that I can share it with others. I would like to have the impression of being more involved in it and of being closer to the action.
I want to build this communication bridge because it is a difficult arena to understand. Climate change is so vast that everyone has questions and having someone to ask those questions helps you.
I know that there is absolutely no possibility of influencing anything other than having people in the street and I think that this is the most important: to show that there is solidarity and that there is has people who care and the number that does so is increasing.
I will also represent Feasta and promote an initiative to cap and tax the use of fossil fuels at the source rather than having them affect people at the end of the supply chain. I will also be pushing for a financial transaction tax, the proceeds of which will also go to a global climate fund.
Padraic Fogarty, Irish Wildlife Trust Campaign Manager
While I attend the COP, what I hope is that nature will have greater visibility.
Our current biodiversity crisis is generally forgotten and ignored. It needs to be at the center of the debate because I certainly believe that the crisis we are facing is not just a climate crisis – it is a problem of unsustainable resource extraction which leads to all kinds of other problems.
If we only tackle the climate problem in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, we will miss a lot in terms of responding to the biodiversity emergency.
Padraic spoke to us earlier this year about his podcast on Ireland’s biodiversity crisis – check out “Shaping New Mountains” on Spotify to hear the full story.
Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth Ireland
The actual formal negotiations at this COP are quite close – they relate to the Paris settlement and I think we need to think about how that plays out with expectations. I have never seen a COP where public attention, public expectations and media coverage have been so high. I think it’s even higher than in Copenhagen in 2009 and in Paris in 2015. But what will matter just as much is what is happening around the COP and what the heads of state and the heads of state will say. government when they get there.
There is also what has been called the Glasgow Package, which is more than results. We need to see progress on climate finance because it is essential to trust. Trust is low at the moment between North and South, in part because of vaccine distribution and because Copenhagen’s $ 100 billion funding pledge has not been kept. So for Confidence it is essential that great effort be made to ensure that there is adequate climate finance to help countries deal with what warming is already in place and then their own low emission transition. of carbon.
There was also more emphasis on keeping fossil fuels in the ground in the run-up to this COP. There have been announcements around coal – which countries will stop using coal and which will stop developing coal globally, so progress on that front would be essential. There is also talk of a government alliance around oil and gas and the release of these fuels. As Ireland has taken steps in this direction, it should definitely be a part of it if it is announced.
The actual outcome of the Paris settlement, climate finance, the use of fossil fuels and of course the global commitments to action and how they achieve the Paris climate goals – these are the benchmarks, and the ultimate benchmark is: are countries planning to do enough?