Worldwide public demands for urgent climate action go unanswered in climate summit outcomes
As the UN climate talks finally conclude in Madrid, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland has expressed frustration at the talks’ failure to step-up global climate action or deliver climate justice.
It was hoped the two weeks of talks would respond to the growing public calls for urgent climate action, as the overwhelming weight of science tells us that the current response is far from sufficient. Instead of providing a strong foundation for next year’s talks, the weak outcome in Madrid places further pressure on next year’s negotiations in Glasgow’s, when the UK takes over the presidency.
Key issues proved to be major stumbling blocks, and will now need to be resolved at next year’s Glasgow climate summit. No decision was reached on how richer countries support poorer countries to recover from, now unavoidable, climate impacts, which they did little to cause. Nor was a decision taken on the highly contentious issue of rules for carbon markets under the Paris Agreement. Dangerously weak texts will now be used as the basis for negotiations in the year ahead.
The current commitments to climate action made by countries are only sufficient to hold climate heating to three degrees, and governments must come forward with new commitments to increased action to cut climate pollution in time well before the Glasgow summit, in order that climate change can be held below the Paris Agreement limit of 1.5 degrees. In particular, governments of wealthy developed nations such as the US and Europe, must act faster.
Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “These climate talks failed to act on the calls of people across the world who have demanded faster and deeper action to keep global temperature rises below 1.5C.
“These UN climate talks remain the best, and only, global platform to build consensus on climate action and climate justice. But if they are to work, those governments blocking progress need to get out of the way and start listening. The people are demanding a strong response to the climate emergency. The climate crisis is unfolding now, and public pressure will only grow in the months leading up to COP26 in Glasgow.
“All actors must now significantly step up their game. With the talks coming to Glasgow, Scotland can lead by example by accelerating its response to the climate emergency in its next budget, committing new investments to rapidly reduce our emissions, and by increasing our financial support for people in the world’s poorest countries who are already being devastated by a crisis they did not cause.”
“When the UN climate talks are held in Glasgow in 2020 it will be the fourth of these summits in a row to be held in Europe, and there is deep concern that the voices of climate impacted communities from the global South are being marginalised.
“It is essential that communities on the frontline of the climate crisis are not just included but placed at the very heart of the negotiations in Glasgow. Their voices must be heard and listened to, unlike in Madrid. By doing so, we can send a clear message that Glasgow’s COP will be a people’s COP that delivers genuine climate justice”.