Climate activists disappointed with government inaction during the first week of discussions at COP26 have launched a counter conference.
The People’s Summit for Climate Justice kicked off today and will run until Wednesday, hosting around 200 online and in-person sessions which platform the voices of people hit hardest by the climate crisis.
People’s Summit Programme Coordinator Jana Ahlers said: “After a week of greenwashing, rhetoric and false solutions from the UN Climate Summit, the People’s Summit is the moment for the movement to come together and find just solutions to the climate crisis.”
Ramon Mejia, National Organizer for the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance called COP26 a “crucial battle ground,” but warned the Covid-19 pandemic and access issues at COP had led to important voices being absent from official negotiations strengthening the need for an alternative forum.
Yesterday thousands of protestors, including Greta Thunberg, took to the streets of Glasgow and London to call on world leaders to take more stringent action on climate change in the final week of COP negotiations.
It comes as the first week of negotiations at the UN’s COP26 summit drew mixed reaction from onlookers.
Key pledges have been made by world leaders including a landmark commitment signed by 130 countries to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. Meanwhile India surprised the world with a pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2070.
However, scientists are warning that these commitments will not be enough to avert a climate catastrophe.
Even assuming maximum follow-through, the commitments made so far at COP26 will not be enough to keep global warming below the 1.5°C threshold set out in the Paris Agreement.