Four disadvantaged communities from COP26: Scientists, Indigenous peoples, Women and Future generations

By Asitha Jayawardena

Four disadvantaged communities from COP26 are scientists, indigenous peoples, women and future generations

The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Glasgow in the UK is now over.

At COP26, four communities suffered setbacks and they are scientists, indigenous peoples, women and future generations. Let’s see them one by one.


Sticking to 1.5C warming compared to pre-industrial levels is the science community’s highest achievement in COP26. However, they failed in the emissions of greenhouse gases which would need to be cut in 2030. A proposal that the scientists can work together in a CERN-like International Institute for Climate Change is a possibility.

One of the scientists, who passed away in 2018, had this to say:

“One can see from space how the human race has changed the Earth. Nearly all of the available land has been cleared of forest and is now used for agriculture or urban development. The polar ice caps are shrinking and the desert areas are increasing. At night, the Earth is no longer dark, but large areas are lit up. All of this is evidence that human exploitation of the planet is reaching a critical limit. But human demands and expectations are ever-increasing. We cannot continue to pollute the atmosphere, poison the ocean and exhaust the land. There isn’t any more available.”

Stephen Hawking, Physicist & Author

Indigenous peoples

Scientists are in the field of climate change for hundreds of years but indigenous people have lived with nature for thousands of years. The voice of the indigenous people was heard in COP26 and it is a necessity.

Cree Prophecy in the Native Americans has this thing to say:

“When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”

Cree Prophecy


In climate change, women are the most suffered in families but their thoughts are not expressed in climate policies developed primarily by men. Things have changed for the better but it is not yet transformed to a level of men and women having equal rights to the causes and effects of climate change. 

What marine biologist, who died in 1964, has to say in her book “Silent Spring”:

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been travelling is deceptively easy; a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lays disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less travelled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

Rachel Carson, Writer, Scientist, Ecologist and Environmentalist

Future generations

Today, those who are approaching 20 would reach 70 in 2070. Someone in the 50s would be gone in 2070 (unless they are making 100). Climate change has longer repercussions and people who are in their 50s and 60s (like politicians, and business leaders) cannot solve the said issues. Greater emphasis should be sought from future generations and Greta Thunberg is no exception.

Now 19, Greta explains the rationale for her School Strike for Climate:

“For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything to fight the climate crisis, but we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer. We are striking because we have done our homework and they have not.”

Greta Thunberg, Student and environmental activist

COP27 in November 2022

The next conference of the United Nations that will focus on the climate crisis will be COP27, to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 7 to 18 November 2022. What scientists, indigenous peoples, women and future generations will achieve in this event is too early to say.


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  1. it was an interesting read… thanks for sharing the stats about the climate and state of the weather which are worrying… I don’t think many countries have not been so committed to cutting down on the emissions of greenhouse gases which they agreed to and need to do before 2030.

    Liked by 3 people

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