Prior to the UN COP26 climate summit, Greta Thunberg has called on banks to “stop funding our destruction.”
Demonstrations against fossil fuel investment are taking place as world leaders converge in the Scottish city ahead of the commencement of COP26 on Sunday.
The demonstration in London is part of a worldwide series that will take place on Friday, including in New York, San Francisco, and Nairobi.
Campaigners are urging banks not to lend money to companies and projects that use fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
Over 200 countries will be required to present their strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at the COP26 summit.
The conference is viewed as critical if countries are to follow through on a 2015 vow to keep global warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. As the host country, the United Kingdom is under pressure to persuade them to make bold promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Ms Thunberg said this week that she will fly to Glasgow for the meeting to participate in a “climate strike.”However, when questioned if she had been asked to speak at the event, she said: “I don’t know. It’s very unclear. Not, like, officially.”
The UK stated in its official summit schedule that it sought to “elevate youth voices” during a series of events co-hosted by the UN’s official youth climate arm on one of the summit days.
There will also be a discussion of the outcomes of Ms Thunberg’s speech at the Youth4Climate meeting in Milan in September, where she criticised politicians’ use of climate slogans.
The demonstration today had a sense of belonging, with young activists from around the world descending on London ahead of COP26 and expressing their message via a common microphone.
While today’s demonstration was aimed at the banking industry’s financial support of fossil-fuel mining firms, it also provided the first opportunity for several global groups to meet face-to-face after only communicating online previously.
Ms Thunberg also stated in her interview that poorer countries who are most affected by climate change should have a larger presence at COP26.
She went on to say that it was unfair that certain countries would send “lots and lots” of delegates while countries from the so-called Global South would be “under-represented.”
She also stated that the discussions will fail if the globe “continues to ignore” industrialised countries’ “historical responsibility” to reduce carbon emissions.
President Joe Biden arrived in Europe on Friday ahead of the meeting, and the United States is considered as a major factor in its success. His Build Back Better social welfare package, at $1.75 trillion (£1.2 trillion), includes more than $500 billion in green policies. Mr Biden called the actions “historic,” but Ms Thunberg urged the US to go even further.
Why is the COP26 so important?
One of the world’s most important issues is climate change. If we want to avoid further global temperature rises, governments must vow more aggressive reductions in warming emissions. Change may be possible at the Glasgow summit. You should keep an eye on the commitments made by the world’s greatest polluters, such as the United States and China, as well as whether poorer countries are receiving the assistance they require. Every aspect of our lives will alter. Our jobs, how we heat our houses, what we eat, and how we travel could all be affected by decisions made here.
If climate change is to be controlled, the COP26 global climate meeting in Glasgow in November is viewed as critical. Nearly 200 countries have been requested to submit plans to reduce emissions, which could result in significant changes in our daily lives.
What are the COP26 expectations?
1. Achieve worldwide net-zero by mid-century and keep 1.5°C within reach
Countries are being urged to submit aggressive carbon reduction plans for 2030, with the goal of attaining net zero by the middle of the century.
Countries will need to do the following in order to meet these lofty goals:
- Speed up coal phase-out process
- Reduce deforestation
- Accelerate the transition to electric cars
- Encourage the use of renewable energy sources.
2. Adapt so that communities and natural ecosystems are protected.
Even as we reduce emissions, the climate is changing and will continue to change, with disastrous consequences. We must work together at COP26 to enable and encourage countries that are affected by climate change too:
- Protect and restore ecosystems
- To avert the loss of homes, livelihoods, and even lives, establish defences, warning systems, and resilient infrastructure and agriculture.
3. Make financial resources available.
To meet the first two objectives, rich countries must follow through on their pledge to mobilise at least $100 billion in climate finance per year. International financial institutions must play a role, and we must work together to mobilise the trillions of dollars in private and public finance needed to achieve global net zero.
4. Collaborate to meet deadlines
Only by working together will we be able to meet the difficulties of the climate crisis. We must do the following at COP26:
- Completion of the Paris Rulebook (the detailed rules that make the Paris Agreement operational)
- Through partnership between governments, corporations, and civil society, governments, businesses, and civil society can expedite action to address the climate issue.
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