Time is running out. World leaders are gathering at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow to try and seal a deal on cutting global emissions. Much work towards has already been done behind the scenes, but the success of COP26 is certainly not guaranteed.
What would you say to leaders at COP26? Many world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are attending (though there are notable absences, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping). Decisions taken in 2021 will have an enormous impact on the lives of future (and current) generations. How can people make their voices heard on climate change?
Want to learn more about the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):
What do our readers think? We had a comment from Gregor, who wonders why COP-26 is being held in-person during a pandemic. Couldn’t it be postponed or moved online?
We also had a comment sent in by Helen, who believes that “Collectively, people can help hold politicians and companies to account.” Is there anything ordinary people can do to make sure COP-26 is a success?
To get a response to these comments, we spoke to Anna Staszewska, European Climate Pact Ambassador in Poland. We asked Anna what message she would send to world leaders at COP26, and how she would respond to Gregor and Helen.
For another perspective, we also approached Adrien Talvy, European Climate Pact Ambassador in France. What message would he want to send to leaders at COP-26?
Today, I’d like to say to leaders of COP-26 to keep up with their promises, to stop accommodating lobby from multinationals that are only interested in making profit, and rather be influenced by citizens’ initiatives so we can advance all together.
What about the comment from Gregor about COP-26 being held online or postponed during the pandemic?
I believe we’ve already experienced quite some tough months due to COVID-19, [and] quite hard sanitary measures have been put into place. Today, thanks to the vaccination, and with potentially some new treatments that may appear soon, we’re progressively going back to a normal life. So, what benefits would postponing COP-26 have brought, especially considering that COP-26 is an urgency? In my opinion, it’d be dangerous to postpone it for one or even two years because of the pandemic. And why in-person? Well, because we need to meet in-person, we need to exchange among leaders, institutions, NGOs in-person so we can advance together.
We also asked for a comment from Endri Haxhiraj, European Climate Pact Ambassador in Albania. What did he want to say to COP-26 leaders?
COP-26 should serve leaders as their last chance to do something for their people’s safety. Leaders should act based on the scientific data and invest in the base of the community: ‘Thinking globally and acting locally!’ People need to feel this!
Finally, we put the same question to Adam Harmat, European Climate Pact Ambassador in Hungary. What would he say?
Yeah, I think this is an easy question. Act now and don’t make only longterm promises. So, it’s very good that we have the 2050 climate targets for more and more countries, but we need very strong five-year or ten-year timescale plans and implementation. And that is really missing right now.
Do you want to get involved? Sign up to the European Climate Pact and pledge to take practical steps to help reduce carbon pollution on our planet.
What message would you send to leaders at COP-26? How can ordinary people make their voices heard on climate change? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
IMAGE CREDITS: Flickr – (by-nc-sa) UNclimatechange
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