We, the COP26 Coalition, have come together united under the common cause of climate justice. We are a collaboration of civil society organisations including trade unions, direct action networks, climate justice groups, environment and development NGOs, faith groups, students and youth, migrant and racial justice networks. Join us as we kickstart a year of climate mobilisation from the ground up, working together across diverse movements to create spaces for hope, learning and action, building towards the better world we know is possible.
As the bleak year that is 2020 draws to a close neither the COVID-19 pandemic nor the worsening climate emergency have gone away. In fact both crises, and the inequalities they inflame, continue to spiral out of control. The next 12 months are going to be crucial in the fight against both – quite literally this is the fight for our lives and our livelihoods.
Decisions are being made now by governments around the world that will shape our societies for decades to come. Decisions that will either further entrench local and global inequalities or, alternatively, put people first, save lives and accelerate action against the climate crisis, charting a course to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a just recovery.
The global pandemic has made clear that the multiple crises we face today – climate breakdown, ecological destruction, racism, patriarchy, hunger, poverty, the mass displacement of peoples – are all interconnected. These crises share common roots that see the earth’s resources exploited for the benefit of the few at the cost of the many, and the poor and marginalised bear the worst consequences. We may all be in the midst of the same storm, but we are patently not all in the same boat.
Amidst the gathering storm, it is important to look back at our achievements and find room for hope to take forward into 2021. Around the world, governments and corporations vested in the status quo have had no choice but to begin to awaken to the scale of the crisis we face and are slowly changing tack. We approach the delayed UN climate summit, COP26, with a UK government determined to appear on the right side of history, claiming to want to bring the world’s greatest polluters aboard a collective commitment to reduce global carbon emissions.
The changing currents within nation states and big corporations towards decarbonisation represent a milestone in the urgent need to move towards a climate just future; this is a milestone that needs to be recognised as our victory. It is a victory from the street rooted in the resistance and resilience of communities who are surviving on the frontlines of the multiple interlinked crises we face today. It is a victory won by communities now on the frontlines of climate breakdown, who have survived its colonial roots for over 500 years.
Nevertheless, there are clear reasons to be cautious of those who are currently at the helm. From green-washing tactics, over-dependence on unproven technological fixes, to the neo-colonial rationale behind global north countries’ reluctance to do their fair share of climate action, we need to continue to hold politicians and corporations to account. We must ensure that a barrage of rhetoric and empty promises do not dominate the headlines while the extractive and ecocidal business-as-usual carries on.
In the year ahead we will be invited to bring our voices and our energy together in celebrating false solutions and empty government rhetoric in order to make a triumphalist pageant of COP26. We must not fall into the trap of cheering from the sidelines for a deal that fails people and planet. We know our power and we recognise the responsibility that comes with it. Our role in the year ahead will be to maintain the reality check on the seriousness and urgency of the multiple crises we face.
We are in uncharted waters. The world is on track to breach the carbon budget for 1.5oC global warming well before 2030. Our role in the run-up to COP26 must be to maintain at the forefront of public consciousness what this warming of 1.5oC means: for our lives and for our livelihoods, for the interests of all citizens globally and for the future of our planetary ecosystem. And what it would take to avoid: nothing less than a fundamental reckoning with and transformation of our economic, social, and political systems.
Our role is to demand climate action which truly addresses the nature and scale of the interlinked crises we face. In the face of escalating ecological breakdown, of which the pandemic is merely the first great disruption, we must be ready to respond as never before to the challenges of rising instability and growing inequality. We must commit resources to where they are most needed – on the frontlines of the climate crisis and the extractive frontier.
Around the world grassroots movements are speaking truth to power. From the movement for black lives, to indigenous resistance, feminist struggles to end gendered violence and demand reproductive justice, millions are clear about the need for structural change. Hope lies within these movements, demonstrating our power to transform society and create a better world. We make change from the ground up and will continue to do so.
Articulación de Movimiento Sociales de Nicaragua.
Asociación Agentes de Cambio de Nicaragua
Campaign against Climate Change
Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD)
Central Scotland Regional Equality Council
Christian Climate Action
Climate Camp Scotland
Community Energy Scotland
ECT – Erosion, Technology and Concentration Group
Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council
Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre
Extinction Rebellion Aberdeenshire
Extinction Rebellion Brazil
Extinction Rebellion Buddhists
Extinction Rebellion China
Extinction Rebellion Cymru/Wales
Extinction Rebellion Edinburgh
Extinction Rebellion Glasgow University
Extinction Rebellion Global COP Network
Extinction Rebellion NEC Disability and Inclusion
Extinction Rebellion Northampton
Extinction Rebellion Peace
Extinction Rebellion Rewilding
Extinction Rebellion Scotland
Extinction Rebellion Stirling
Extinction Rebellion Tynedale
Fair Trade Stirling
Feminist Exchange Network
Free Our City Glasgow
Fridays For Future China
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Friends of the Earth Ireland
Friends of the Earth Scotland
Friends of the Earth Stirling.
Get Glasgow Moving
Glasgow Calls Out Polluters
Glasgow COP Collective
Glasgow COP Ecosocialist Network
Global Center for Climate Justice
Global Justice Now
Green Anti-Capitalist Front Glasgow
Green New Deal Cymru
Humanist Society Scotland
If Not Us Then Who?
International Legal Intervention Group (GIGI)
Iwasen Development Foundation
Kyegh Agena Development Initiative
Learning for Sustainability Scotland
Lewisham Trades Union Council
Nigerian Farmers Association.
Northant Friend of the Earth
One Planet Forth Valley
Our Future Now
Phulbari Solidarity Group
Portsmouth and District Unite Community
Portsmouth Trades Council
Quakers in Britain
Real Farming Trust
Red Internacional de Promotores ODS (RIPO)/ International Network of SDG Promoters
RMT London Transport Region
Rising Tide UK
Robin Hood Tax Campaign UK
S.W. Essex Fight the Flights
Scotland’s International Development Alliance
Scottish Artists Union
Scottish Communities Climate Action Network
Scottish Education and Action for Development (SEAD)
Scottish Episcopal Church
SG Climate Rally
Southbank Centre PCS
Stop Climate Chaos Ireland
The Gaia Foundation (UK)
The Green New Deal Group
The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
The Surefoot Effect CIC
Trees for Life
Tripod: Training for Creative Social Action
Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA)
UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN)
UK Youth Climate Coalition
UN House Scotland
War on Want
Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike
Wretched of the Earth
Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN)
Global Justice Bloc
Colectiva Feminista Las Malinches
Artist’s Union England