The climate emergency is not combated with declarations of intent

From Madrid to Glasgow
The climate emergency is not combated with declarations of intent
  • The British Presidency of COP26 presents a final draft text that represents a lukewarm declaration of intentions and no progress in the negotiations.
  • There are three days left for countries to change the course of negotiations that seem doomed to failure.
  • Ecologists in Action urges Minister Ribera – who will lead the negotiations around adaptation – to show authentic leadership and increase the ambition and funding for these measures.

This morning the first draft of the final text of COP26 was presented. Its pages are further proof that the negotiations are not moving forward and that the final agreement will barely be able to resolve the debates that have been going on for years without finding a response in the international community. If the text does not change course, not only will the ambition needed to fight climate change not be increased, but countries will not have the capacity to respond to the effects of the increase in global temperature.

In this context, Ecologists in Action joins the message of civil society: this situation only serves to divert attention from what is important, that is, pointing out the guilt of fossil companies, demanding that countries commit to 1.5 ºC and approve sufficient funds for adaptation, losses and damages caused by climate change.

According to the agenda, there are only three days left until the end of the United Nations negotiations against climate change. Until now, Glasgow has been characterized by numerous declarations of intent by the British Presidency which, from the first week, has launched constant calls to action, such as announcements on deforestation, methane reduction or the commitment to end exploration of new fossil deposits.

For Ecologistas en Acción these are mere institutional declarations without any capacity to force countries to carry them out. “If the Presidency had firm intentions to carry them out, it should have included them in the final draft texts presented,” says Javier Andaluz, head of Energy and Climate at Ecologistas en Acción.

Por otro lado, los borradores de textos oficiales que se han presentado se caracterizan por no incluir ninguna mención específica al uso de combustibles fósiles en la declaración final de esta COP26. Es más, se sigue usando un término como el ‘cero neto’ o la ‘neutralidad climática’ que constituyen una vía de entrada para soluciones falsas como el almacenamiento y la captura de carbono. También son una vía para incrementar la presión sobre los bosques que podría generar enormes impactos en numerosos territorios y en derechos de numerosos pueblos.

“After more than ten days of negotiation, the draft text presented by the Presidency does not say anything that we did not know before coming. We already knew that commitments and funding were insufficient. What was expected of the countries was that they would solve this at this summit and, in light of the texts presented, they are not doing so," explains Javier Andaluz.

For her part, Irene Rubiera, also a delegate of Ecologists in Action in Glasgow, adds that “if this draft agreement becomes the final result of the summit, the international community will have once again lost the opportunity to take measures that comply with the scientific indications, at a key moment in the fight against the climate emergency.”

For all these reasons, Ecologists in Action urges Minister Teresa Ribera – who will facilitate negotiations on adaptation – to guarantee a clear action program that provides in the short term a work route and clear and sufficient financing in terms of adaptation. At the same time, it demands that, together with the complicity of the EU, it favors the achievement of ambitious results.

Likewise, the environmental organization urges the international community to initiate real climate action in these remaining days of the summit. A final declaration must be reformulated that strengthens the inclusion of much more binding language and the establishment of a roadmap with real actions and not mere speeches.

“On a planet where millions of people suffer the consequences of climate change, it is imperative to provide a collective response to the damage caused by the continuous burning of fossil fuels. To do this, the countries of the global North must assume the collective responsibility of providing the necessary resources. A draft text as minimal as the one they presented this morning is inadmissible,” concludes Javier Andaluz.