Climate activist Greta Thunberg said that inside COP there are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our futures seriously. The young activist was speaking at a rally close to the COP26 Summit in Glasgow where she said that “COP26 so far has been just like other COP summits and has led us nowhere.”
“Inside COP there are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our futures seriously. Change is not going to come from inside there,” Thunberg told the crowd. Delayed by a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, COP26 aims to keep alive a target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Thunberg added that “Change is not going to come from inside, that is not leadership. We said no more blah blah blah….no more exploitation of nature, no more exploitation of people. We are sick and tired of it.”
World leaders, environmental experts and activists all pleaded for decisive action to halt the global warming which threatens the future of the planet at the start of the two-week COP26 summit in the Scottish city on Monday. COP26 needs to secure more ambitious pledges to reduce emissions, lock in billions in climate financing for developing countries, and finish the rules for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement, which was signed by nearly 200 countries.
The pledges made so far would allow the planet’s average surface temperature to rise 2.7C this century, which the United Nations says would supercharge the destruction that climate change is already causing.
Meanwhile, over 100 global leaders late on Monday pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade, underpinned by $19 billion in public and private funds to invest in protecting and restoring forests.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed the world leaders summit at the climate summit said “India is the only country that is delivering in ‘letter and spirit’ on the Paris Declaration commitments on tackling climate change.” He added that so far, all climate finance promises have been empty ones. Developed countries must ensure 1 trillion dollar climate finance at the earliest. It is the need of the hour to put pressure on those countries that have failed to deliver on their promises about climate finance.
In 2009, the developed countries most responsible for global warming pledged to provide $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing nations deal with its consequences. The commitment has still not been met, generating mistrust and a reluctance among some developing nations to accelerate their emissions reductions.
President Xi Jinping of China, by far the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, said in a written statement that developed countries should not only do more but also support developing countries to do better.