Crucial days ahead in climate fight - Scotsman comment

A week is a long time in politics. If COP26 is to be successful, every minute of it will need to be used.

COP26 has five days to go
COP26 has five days to go

Yesterday was a rest day for the summit ahead of the crucial run-in.

Among the items on the agenda this week is transport, an area where significant moves have to happen if there is to any claim of success.

Al Gore spoke on Friday of the world being at a “long-awaited political tipping point” in the fight against climate change. Many will wonder what could have been achieved if the conversations happening now had begun 15 years ago when he released An Inconvenient Truth.

While warning that the climate crisis is getting worse "faster than we are yet implementing solutions", the former US vice-president hailed the "impressive" pledges for action that have so far been made in Glasgow.


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Positivity too from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who said on Friday: “I don’t want to overstate this or in any way count the chickens around this – there is a greater degree of optimism inside this place about the progress that might be made between now and the end of next week.”On the streets, of course there is no such optimism. Greta Thunberg repeating her “blah blah blah” line, branding COP26 “a global north greenwash festival, a two-week long celebration of business as usual”.

“The most affected people in the most affected areas still remain unheard and the voices of future generations are drowning in their greenwash and empty words and promises,” she thundered at the protest.

That pessimism is entirely understandable, especially with a glance at the world’s track record here.

Are we at a tipping point or will it be as Thunberg suggests, empty promises and business as usual?


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It has to be the former, the consequences of doing otherwise, of failing to act and act big, are clear to see.

The decisions made at the SEC could not have more riding on them. This time next week, we hope to be looking back on the Glasgow Agreement which will go down in history as the moment the tide turned.

A week really is a long time in politics – but will it be long enough?


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