COP26 Coalition International Press Conference

COP26 Coalition International Press Conference

22 Apr 2021

COP26 Coalition: “Global summits dominated by rich countries and corporations – whether it’s the Biden summit or the G7 in June – will not put people before profit or offer real change. We urgently need to transform our societies and economies towards a just, real-zero carbon world.”

The Cop26 Coalition release statement in response to Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate Change, ahead of International Press Conference 1900 BST tonight (22 April) where speakers from Scotland and across the world will challenge the greenwash and lack of ambition of the Summit. 

COP26 Coalition International Press Conference on US Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change

Date: Thursday 22nd April

Time: 19:00 – 20:00 BST

Interviews available – please see contact details below

An international press conference hosted by the COP26 Coalition took place to coincide with President Joe Biden’s virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change

On April 22nd Earth Day, the largest ever historical polluter, the United States, is bringing together 40 other major emitters, in a high-level “to underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action”. 

The COP26 Coalition will challenge the greenwashing of world leaders’ current lack of ambition and woeful records on climate action, and call out their attempts to distract and cover up with “net-zero” pledges that rely heavily on carbon offsetting and unproven technologies rather than on an equitable phaseout of fossil fuels.

The likes of the US and UK plan to continue their production of fossil fuels while hiding behind pledges of “net-zero”. As the climate justice movement, we unambiguously oppose the false solutions and greenwashing of government and industry. 

Speakers included: 

Asad Rehman – War On Want

Maria Reyes – Fridays for Future, Mexico

Brandon Wu – ActionAid USA

Rhoda Boateng – ITUC Africa

Bryce Goodall – local resident, Mossmorran community activist  

ENDS 

Contact for interviews/logistics: 

Email: cbarbagallo@waronwant.org

Brandon Wu – ActionAid

“The Biden administration wants to show that the United States can be a ‘climate leader.’ But the U.S. has never been a climate leader. In global climate talks it has always been a barrier to ambitious action, despite being the world’s largest historical climate polluter. If the Biden administration genuinely wants to turn this around, it must commit the United States to doing its fair share of global climate action. That means dramatic and urgent domestic emissions cuts, and just as importantly it also means immediate commitments to provide climate finance to support action in developing countries.”

“Our analysis shows that the U.S. fair share is the equivalent of 195% emissions reductions by 2030. Anything less than doing our fair share means that the United States will be giving up on the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius, thus condemning millions around the world to try to cope with increasingly devastating climate impacts that they had little or no role in causing.”

Maria Reyes – Fridays for Future Mexico

“You can refine your emissions inventories as you please, but your greenhouse gases are still in the atmosphere and the people continue to be impacted. You will claim to be ambitious and magnificent, but we know that in reality the emperor has no clothes.”

Rhoda Boateng, International Trade Union Confederation Africa

“Net Zero is meaningless without meaningful participation of the most vulnerable in the design and implementation of transition plans. Achieving a just transition requires all on board – people of all colour, class, groupings – the old and young – governments, employers as well as workers. This is fair, this is just. We need a Just Transition for workers! We need a Just Transition for vulnerable and marginalised groups!”

Bryce Goodall – local resident, Cowdenbeath and  Mossmorran community activist

“As a resident, living near the Exxon and Shell Mossmorran plant this has been a nightmare! I have experienced vibrations and soot particles entering my home over 5 miles away from these climate criminals and so have over 450 residents in the nearby towns of Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath. There have been reported cases of sleep disturbance, noise pollution and massive impacts to people’s mental health. Enough is enough – we need a just transition for the workers and communities immediately! 

“The local community has routinely been treated with contempt by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. We demand a firm commitment of closure, transition of the plant, not just for our community but for those already living with the impact of climate change and for future generations of local children.”

Asad Rehman – War on Want

“Billions around the world face a daily struggle to survive in the face of a worsening climate crisis, a never ending crisis of inequality and a global health pandemic – with millions denied access to life saving vaccines. Tinkering around the edges of a broken system will simply be a death sentence for them. Fixing the climate crisis requires more than simply cutting carbon; we need bold action that meets these challenges and puts us on a pathway to a fairer and safer planet for everyone.”

“The window is rapidly closing to prevent even more loss of lives and livelihoods. It’s only fair that the richest countries who have done the most to cause these crises, lead the way and put forward plans to decarbonise by 2030 and to meet their obligations to help developing countries with real financial pledges.”

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