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Counter climate summit kicks off as activists lament Cop26 inaction | Cop26

A counter climate summit kicks off in Glasgow on Sunday amid mounting criticism from activists about greenwashed options and stalled motion from firms and wealthy nations inside Cop26.

The People’s Summit for Climate Justice will deliver collectively actions and communities from internationally to amplify voices, concepts and options it believes are largely absent from Cop – together with the worldwide inexperienced new deal, polluters’ legal responsibility, indigenous ecological data and the gulf between web zero and actual zero emissions.

Organisers hope that sharing experience on equitable and transformative non-market options to the climate emergency will assist create a robust grassroots collective to power governments to be extra bold and fewer beholden to huge enterprise.

The summit comes after world leaders final week didn’t decide to phasing out fossil fuels quick sufficient to include international heating to 1.5C. It follows a number of days of protests in Glasgow, London and one other 200 cities globally, with tens of 1000’s of individuals taking to the streets to demand daring, quick and truthful climate motion.

“Building power outside the Cop is essential if we are to hold world leaders to account inside the Cop, and force them to do what we know needs to be done,” stated Asad Rehman, the director of War on Want and co-founder of the Cop26 Coalition which organised Saturday’s international protests and the summit.


“We’re creating a movement of movements in order to deepen and reshape the understanding of the climate crisis in the global north through a climate justice lens.”

The four-day summit contains contributors from indigenous and frontline communities, commerce unions, racial justice and migrant rights teams, youth strikers, landworkers, NGOs, feminist actions and religion teams, as effectively as progressive lawmakers such as Caroline Lucas, Mercy Barends and Rashida Tlaib, who assist the inexperienced new deal.

Indigenous leaders march in ceremonial dress from Glasgow’s Green Park to the Cop26 Scottish Event Campus
Indigenous leaders march in ceremonial gown from Glasgow’s Green Park to the Cop26 Scottish Event Campus earlier this week. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

It opens with a People’s Tribunal through which activists and former Cop negotiators will hear proof on costs in opposition to the UNFCCC, together with the failure to give you applicable climate finance for planetary and social survival and a failure to control firms.

Participants will share private tales concerning the influence of climate-related land loss, water shortages and compelled displacement, which they argue will worsen if governments and firms forge forward with unjust climate options such as carbon seize and mass reforestation.


“Putting a price on natural resources is an act of colonialism and inhumanity. But there are other ways, humanity-based alternatives that we’ll share so they can’t say that they didn’t know,” stated Calfin Lafkenche, a Mapuche organiser from Chile in Glasgow with the Minga motion, an indigenous solidarity community collaborating in an occasion on false climate options.

While some summit delegates are additionally taking part at Cop26 as observers or panelists, the Minga motion refuses – arguing that the phrases and situations of participation violate their rights as autonomous peoples. Still, organisers hope the folks’s summit will assist construct bridges between civil society teams inside and out of doors the UN talks in an effort to create a extra unified and highly effective motion.

Another central theme will likely be web zero – the idea of offsetting or neutralising greenhouse gasoline emissions (quite than ending them) via carbon markets, new as-yet-undeveloped applied sciences and large reforestation programmes.

Pledges to attain web zero by 2050 have been closely promoted by world leaders at Cop26 as indicators of progress, regardless of warnings that the numbers don’t add up, and that in any case this is able to be too little too late to keep away from catastrophic climate disasters in some elements of the world.


“They are trying to sell net zero as a Cop26 success, but it is nothing more than the next more sophisticated phase of climate denial to protect business as usual. It’s mitigation denialism,” stated Scott Tully from Glasgow Calls out Polluters.

At the folks’s summit, the Real Zero, Real Solutions panel can even deal with legal responsibility, and why nations and firms liable for greenhouse gasoline emissions ought to compensate communities who’ve misplaced their properties, land and livelihoods to rising sea ranges and climate disasters such as floods and drought.

Rich nations together with the US and UK oppose the inclusion of legal responsibility in negotiations about averting and minimising loss and injury related to climate change impacts, regardless that many communities are already dwelling with the implications of greenhouse gasoline emissions they didn’t contribute to.

Hellen Kaneni, the Africa area director for the US nonprofit Corporate Accountability, stated: “People want big polluters to be held to account, and liability measures to guide governments exist but it’s not being discussed at Cop because of conflicts of interest. Polluters should leave the room when we’re creating checks and balances to regulate them, instead it’s like they own the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) space while we cannot get in.”

Kaneni, who is predicated in Kampala, Uganda, was unable to attend in individual as she couldn’t entry a Covid vaccine. About two-thirds of civil society organisations who often ship delegates to Cop haven’t travelled to Glasgow on account of “vaccine apartheid”, altering journey guidelines, extortionate journey prices and Britain’s hostile immigration system.

Migrant rights teams can even be heard on the summit. The climate disaster and environmental destruction are already fuelling inner displacement and compelled migration in communities world wide, but such tales have been largely absent contained in the Cop negotiating rooms.

“Talking about climate change in terms of fossil fuels is a Eurocentric perspective, it should be viewed through a human rights lens which recognises that everyone has the right to thrive, not just survive,” stated Yvonne Blake, social justice advocate at Migrants Organising For Rights and Empowerment (More) in Glasgow – a dispersal metropolis for refugees and asylum seekers within the UK.

“Unless we shift the focus to people, we’ll replicate the same colonial structures in which black and brown people’s bodies and lands will be sacrificed,” added Blake.

In all, greater than 200 occasions – panels, folks’s tribunals, workshops and inventive performances – will happen at venues throughout town and just about, masking numerous but interconnected subjects such as well being, indigenous conventional data, gender, nuclear energy, land rights, meals sovereignty and inexperienced jobs.

In a digital all-day occasion on Sunday, a folks’s well being listening to will hear the voices of those that “embody the impact of extractivism, corporate greed and climate change,” stated Tammam Aloudat, a Syrian physician and director of the Global Health Centre in Geneva. Speakers from India, West Papua, Ecuador, Nigeria and the Philippines will describe the well being impacts of mining, poisonous waste, oil drilling and climate disasters of their communities.

Aloudat added: “The people’s summit is not only about shifting power, it’s a pronouncement of mistrust in our leaders. This is a symbolic act of dissent.”

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