Welcome to the third edition of The Rising Clyde, a newsletter from the COP26 Coalition! Thanks for all the positive feedback we received on our first two newsletters. Remember that this is made by Coalition members, so feel free to submit articles, resources, videos, and other spirit-lifting links here! For now though, enjoy this edition. We recommend reading it accompanied by Scottish folk legend Dick Guaghan singing for Maya Angelou.
News from across the Coalition
August is traditionally a slow month in the UK as people look to take a break. But as Bob Marley once noted, “the people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off.” So the collective work of the Coalition has carried on.
All working groups are now orienting themselves towards this November, when COP26 was originally scheduled. To mark the moment and build momentum for the coming year, the Coalition is organising something akin to a virtual people’s summit from 12 to 16 November. The project team is now discussing everything from a name for the event, to which platforms to use, to the format, themes, and programme.
With so many Coalition meetings taking place, things can quickly get confusing. Which is why we have created a shared calendar to make it easier to find the dates and details for upcoming meetings and events. Be sure to join the #onlinesummit channel on Slack!
Speaking of upcoming events… we are very pleased to finally announce that registration is now open for our online speaker series, “Boiling Point: Everything you ever wanted to know about international climate change negotiations but were too afraid to ask.”
In this series of six one hour-long webinars we will explore the basics of international climate change politics and the infamous COP, or “Conference of the Parties.” Activists, policy analysts and journalists with years of experience working behind the scenes of major summits will share their knowledge of the history and process of the talks as well as the major issues and main players. The Boiling Point series will run weekly on Thursdays from 17th September through 22nd October. Get your free tickets to be sure you receive more details about the event, and invite your friends and colleagues!
Mark your calendars (we have already marked our collective calendar!) for the next All-Coalition Assembly which will take place on 23rd September from 6.30 – 8.30pm. Call-in details will be shared via email and on the Coalition’s Slack workspace.
Keep your calendars open because there are 2 other really cool events we wanted to share with you. Although not organised by the Coalition both events promise to be really interesting for all Coalition members. The first event, “Disruption, Decarbonisation, Reparations,” will take place on the 2nd and 3rd September and is organised by the Research in Global Governance Network at the University of Warwick. The second event, “Framing Climate Justice: what have we learnt?” organised by PIRC, NEON, and 350.org will take place at 4pm BST on the 16th September.
News and Resources
- One-third of Bangladesh is underwater following the worst flooding seen in a decade. Yet again, countries in the Global South suffer the consequences of climate breakdown despite being the least responsible for causing it. According to the World Bank, more than 13.3 million Bangladeshis could be displaced by the climate crisis by 2050.
- A state of emergency has been declared in Mauritius after an estimated 1,000 tonnes of oil have leaked from a grounded Japanese bulk carrier. This is the ugly reality of the oil industry the world over. In Venezuela 26,700 barrels of oil leaked from a refinery, with experts predicting the coast could take 50 years to recover.
- Environmental groups have called for an environmental court to be established after the UK government spent over £50,000 investigating BP following the Clair platform oil leak in 2016. Last month, BP plead guilty to contravening rules on the regulation of offshore petroleum activities at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and were fined £7,000. You read that right – we haven’t missed some zeros off the end. They fined a multi-billion dollar company seven thousand pounds.
- Glasgow-based student science magazine, theGIST, looks at how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting global carbon emissions. Laura Gordon, an MRes student in Ecology and Environmental Biology at the University of Glasgow, shows why the sudden drop is no cause for celebration.
- With countries in the Global South estimated to need at least $2.5 trillion to recover from COVID-19, the need has never been greater for new and additional international finance to support a transformation of their energy sectors, otherwise they may be compelled to turn to sources of cheap and easy cash through fossil fuel extraction.
- In some relatively good news, fossil fuel companies will not be allowed to sponsor COP26. This is the first year that sponsors are required to have a plan to cut emissions to “net-zero” by 2050. This long-overdue decision comes after campaigners urged the government to kick big polluters out of COP for good. Related: Creative Carbon Scotland have put this great resource together, documenting a history of arts and culture at previous COPs.
- Thirty Percy’s amazing “Interdependence Festival” from last November is now available to view on demand. Featuring talks on the interconnecting issues of the hostile environment, energy democracy, and housing, through a decolonial climate justice lens, the on-demand videos provide an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to learn more about climate justice.
- Another fantastic, and free, resource to challenge your assumptions about the climate crisis is the excellent book “A billion black anthropocenes or none.” If you need any further convincing to read the whole book online, here’s a great review!
- Finally, Erin Roberts has written a fantastic and provocative essay “If black lives mattered would loss and damage exist?” which charts her personal journey to understanding how the climate breakdown we are now unleashing, which has been described as a new apartheid, is the direct result of a global system of racism.