By Professor Ros Wade
From October 31st to November 12th 2021, the UK, together with our partners Italy, will host COP26 – an event many believe to be the world’s best last chance to get runaway climate change under control. For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has become a global priority. This year will be the 26th annual summit – giving it the name COP26.
We are now seeing the effects of climate change in every country and region, with severe weather events becoming ever more frequent, resulting in food shortages and major displacements of people. Our planet is warming up and during the last decades this has actually been speeding up rather than slowing down. Our most urgent and challenging global goal is to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
How will this happen?
Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.
To deliver on these stretching targets, countries will need to:
- accelerate the phase-out of coal
- curtail deforestation
- speed up the switch to electric vehicles
- encourage investment in renewables.
Politicians need to make the big decisions now to end our dependence on fossil fuels and they need our support to do this. This is our opportunity to let our representatives know that we want them to take action NOW.
- Write to our local councillors and MPs, stating your concerns for urgent action (politicians listen to their public as they need our votes)
- Join a campaign with a local or national group such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Extinction Rebellion
- Join in one of the actions to support COP 26, the global climate conference in Glasgow on October. More information can be found on the ‘Climate Coalition’ website at www.theclimatecoalition.org/
- Join a local climate action group to raise awareness and encourage action
- Invite a speaker who can inspire and encourage local action
- Organise a local activity to encourage climate change awareness, e.g. an art competition, story writing
- Ask all your friends and family to make one climate change commitment for the next year and to keep to it
And we can also support COP26 by:
- Checking out the list of goals on the COP 26 website https://ukcop26.org/cop26-goals/
- Joining the movement, Together for our planet https://together-for-our-planet.ukcop26.org/onestepgreener/
- Getting involved in local action for a sustainable planet and sharing our experiences https://together-for-our-planet.ukcop26.org/get-involved/
If you need some more ideas, these websites provide ideas and resources for individual, schools, faith groups, community groups and businesses.
Note: Professor Ros Wade is the Chair of RCE London. This post appeared previously on London RCE News.
London RCE News https://londonrcenews.wordpress.com/