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Stakeholders on a ‘race to zero’ after COP26

They include banks, asset managers, asset owners and insurers, as well as financial service providers such as stock exchanges, data providers, investment consultants and auditors…reports Asian Lite News.

Momentum among non-party stakeholders around the globe towards achieving net-zero emissions, resilient future continues to grow and is underlined by the significant increase in the numbers registered in data sources such as the Global Climate Action Portal (GCAP).

As of October, the portal registered 22,259 actors around the world, an increase of nearly 22 per cent as compared to 2020.

Such actors include cities, regions, businesses, investors, among others. Particularly noteworthy is nearly the 82 per cent increase in the number of participating businesses, bringing the total companies engaged in climate action to 7,370.

One of the GCAP’s data partners, CDP — the not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts — experienced a 35 per cent growth in environmental disclosures between 2020 and 2021 — the highest number of new disclosures since its inception over two decades ago.

This surge in activity is captured in the recently published 2021 Yearbook of Global Climate Action. The fifth in its series, the yearbook showcases the work carried out under the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action and the High-Level Champions since the last publication. It identifies the sectors that need acceleration and sets out the future vision of the Champions.

Three international campaigns led by the High-Level Champions — Race to Zero, Race to Resilience, and Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero — have been instrumental in mobilising action by non-party stakeholders, driving up the number of credible commitments and securing bold action.

As of November, nearly 7,800 members from 110 countries are part of the ‘Race to Zero’, including 67 regions, 1,049 cities, 5,235 businesses, 441 financial institutions, 1,039 educational institutions and 52 healthcare institutions.

Also, 24 partners are now in the ‘Race to Resilience’, representing over 2,500 non-state actor organisations in more than 100 countries who will collectively reduce the vulnerability of 2.3 billion people by 2030.

Meanwhile, more than 450 leading financial enterprises representing over $130 trillion in assets in 45 countries have joined the ‘Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero’ with the aim of mobilising private capital for developing countries.

They include banks, asset managers, asset owners and insurers, as well as financial service providers such as stock exchanges, data providers, investment consultants and auditors.

While significant change is already underway, evidence shows that it must accelerate in all sectors of the economy and society in order to achieve the Paris Agreement goals and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

One major example is coal, which needs to be phased out at a pace more than five times faster than at present.

Driving this transformation forward are the Climate Action Pathways, the 2030 Breakthroughs, and the State of Climate Action 2021 by the World Resource Institute.

They set out sectoral visions for achieving a 1.5 degrees Celsius resilient world in 2050, showcase the long- and short-term milestones for the thematic areas of the Marrakech Partnership, and present the pace of global climate action, respectively.

The Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns will shift their focus from building momentum to tangible action, and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero will encourage the convergence of approaches to a net-zero transition.

To further boost climate ambition from all stakeholders through the Marrakech Partnership, the High-Level Champions have developed a five-year plan under a 10-year vision for this decisive decade of implementation.

The work will be organised under six core functions: Mobilising and aligning non-party stakeholders towards science-based goals that maximise ambition; supporting non-party stakeholders to drive systems transformation; strengthening collaboration between national governments and non-party stakeholders; broadening and deepening engagement globally with a focus on helping developing country stakeholders; tracking progress and enhancing transparency and credibility of non-party stakeholders; and building a shared narrative for the decisive decade of climate action.

One of the main priorities of the High-Level Champions over the next two years will be to support the global stocktake process towards the Paris Agreement objectives as encouraged by parties in Glasgow.

This includes exploring how best to support non-party stakeholders in developing countries and at the regional level to participate and take ambitious action.

ALSO READ-COP 26 :World Unites For Climate Summit in Glasgow

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UN Chief Welcomes COP Deal

Says collective political will not enough to overcome deep contradictions, reports Asian Lite News

Calling the approved texts at the conclusion of the COP26 as a “compromise”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “they reflect the interests, the conditions, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today”.

“They take important steps, but unfortunately the collective political will was not enough to overcome some deep contradictions,” Guterres said.

The UN Secretary General’s comments came in wake of the conclusion of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) late Saturday night, with the text that talked of “phasing down unabated coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” that had some nations accept it grudgingly.

“I reaffirm my conviction that we must end fossil fuels subsidies… Phase out coal,” he asserted.

Reiterating what he said at the opening of the COP26, the UN chief said that the world must accelerate action to keep the 1.5 degree goal alive. “Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread. It is time to go into emergency mode — or our chance of reaching net zero will itself be zero.”

Reminding the rich nations to “make good on the $100 billion climate finance commitment to support developing countries”, Guterres said that even when the world did not achieve these goals at this conference, we have some building blocks for progress”.

ALSO READ: BASIC ministers agree to support UK presidency at COP26

The Secretary-General acknowledged that the texts adopted at the COP26 conclusion, for the first time, “encourage International Financial Institutions to consider climate vulnerabilities in concessional financial and other forms of support, including Special Drawing Rights”.

The achievements vis-a-vis closing of the Paris rulebook or getting the carbon market in place is not enough, he said, and reminded the world leaders that science demands a 45 per cent cut in emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.

But the present set of Nationally Determined Contributions, even if fully implemented, will still increase emissions this decade on a pathway that will clearly lead us to well above 2 degrees by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial levels, Guterres said.

To help lower emissions in many other emerging economies, we need to build coalitions of support including developed countries, financial institutions, those with the technical know-how, he said and gave examples such as the partnership build by South Africa.

“Adaptation isn’t a technocratic issue, it is life or death… Protecting countries from climate disaster is not charity. It is solidarity and enlightened self-interest.”

Guterres concluded by highlighting the other climate crisis faced by the world, the “climate of mistrust enveloping our globe” and said, climate action can help rebuild trust and restore credibility.

ALSO READ: COP26 runs overtime in final push to secure deal

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COP26 runs overtime in final push to secure deal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said rich countries to do more to support the developing world move away from fossil fuels, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow has passed its scheduled finishing time, as talks on a deal to avert the worst impacts of climate change continue into Saturday, media reported.

Sticking points include subsidies for coal and other fossil fuels, and financial help to poorer nations, the BBC reported.

On Friday, envoys from small island nations threatened by rising sea levels said their land was fast disappearing, it was reported.

Meeting the goal requires global emissions to be cut by 45% by 2030 and to zero overall by 2050. One example of the impact of global temperature rise above 2C is the death of virtually all coral reefs, scientists say.

A back away from pervious call

A new draft of the final declaration being negotiated at the COP26 conference published on Friday appears to back away from a previous call to end all use of coal and phase out fossil fuels.

The text released by the COP26 president on Wednesday called upon countries to “accelerate the phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuel,” but the wording has now been changed to specify that the call refers only to “unabated coal power” and “inefficient” subsidies.

“Calls upon Parties to accelerate the development, deployment and dissemination of technologies, and the adoption of policies, to transition towards low-emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up clean power generation and accelerating the phase-out of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels,” reads the new the draft position proposed by COP26 President Alok Sharma.

In the case of coal-fired power plants, the term “unabated” refers to facilities that do not use carbon capture and storage technology to reduce carbon emission.

The COP26 is seen as the world’s last chance to reach meaningful commitments to fulfil the goals set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement on greenhouse emission reduction, carbon neutrality, global warming and climate finance.

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground

At the ongoing Glasgow talks, Costa Rica and Denmark have officially launched the world’s first diplomatic initiative focused on keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

Coal power plant. (Credit

Called the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA), the effort brings together countries and subnational jurisdictions that have committed to ending new licensing rounds for oil and gas exploration and production, or have taken steps towards that goal, and recognise that phasing out fossil fuel extraction is an urgent and crucial component of tackling the climate crisis.

At Thursday’s launch event, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Greenland, Ireland, Quebec, Sweden and Wales joined this alliance as full members. California and New Zealand will also join the alliance as associate members. Italy has also expressed their support to the coalition by becoming a Friend of BOGA.

This announcement marks a major shift after decades of the UN climate process ignoring the crucial question of how the world will phase out the production of the fossil fuels that are driving the climate crisis.

It comes after the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the UN Environment Programme have made it clear that continuing the expansion of global fossil fuel production is incompatible with keeping warming under 1.5C, a key objective under the Paris Agreement.

The commitment made by these first movers is an essential first step towards a just transition away from fossil fuel production but is in itself insufficient to meet the challenge ahead. All countries, including BOGA members, must now commit to ending all new oil and gas projects, including in already licensed areas, and Global North producing countries must start reducing production immediately and at an accelerated pace as part of an equitable phase out of global fossil fuel production.

Responding to the launch of the BOGA, Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy Campaign Manager at Oil Change International said: “The launch of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance is a turning point. For far too long, climate negotiations have ignored the basic reality that keeping 1.5C alive requires an equitable global plan to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

“For the first time, countries are now joining together to act on the urgent need to phase out oil and gas production. The creation of this alliance puts to shame claims of climate leadership among countries like the UK, Norway, the United States, and Canada, all of which have yet to answer this simple question: Where is your plan to stop producing the fossil fuels that are driving the climate crisis?”

COP26 President Alok Sharma

Mohamed Adow, Founder and Director of Power Shift Africa, told IANS: “In order to begin healing from the climate catastrophe we have created we must first stop digging our way to destruction.

“Ending our extraction and use of oil and gas is a necessary step in ending our self-harming addiction to fossil fuels. In Africa, we are acutely aware of the suffering that fossil fuels can cause yet we have done almost nothing to cause this suffering. The sooner we can move beyond oil and gas, the sooner the planet can begin to heal.”

Experts at the IEA has made it clear there can be no new fossil fuel projects beyond those already underway this year if “we’re to meet the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees”.

For this initiative to be effective, many more countries need to join and make firm commitments in their national policies to rule out all new fossil fuel projects and permits immediately.

ALSO READ – BASIC ministers agree to support UK presidency at COP26

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Dig deeper in climate talks, says Commonwealth Secretary-General

Climate-related disasters in the Commonwealth doubled in number from the period 1980-1990 (431) to the period 2010-2020 (815), with economic damages increasing from $39 billion to $189 billion over the same time frames…reports Asian Lite News.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland on Wednesday appealed to world leaders attending the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 to close the gap in ongoing negotiations this week in Glasgow, with millions of lives and livelihoods on the line in climate-vulnerable countries.

She delivered her statement to the resumed high-level segment of the conference, hours after a draft outcome document was released by the United Kingdom, as chair of the summit.

She said: “If we lose vulnerable nations who have battled with courage and resilience, we lose the fight against climate change. If the gaps on emissions are not closed, if improved access to climate finance does not materialise, we risk the most vulnerable nations amongst us being subsumed by sea level rises and being engulfed by debt, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Do not grow weary and lose heart. Dig deeper, come together, and close the gap in these negotiations.”

More than 2.5 billion people live in the Commonwealth’s 54 member countries, 60 percent of whom are under age 30.

That includes 32 small states and 14 of the least developed countries of the world which are facing the brunt of the climate change impacts.

The Secretary-General added: “Millions are already losing lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change, but they are fighting. We must too. They know that, without action, the force and frequency of violent weather, fire, shortages of food, water and the threat of rising seas will continue to intensify until it overwhelms them. They require inclusive, just and equitable actions.”

Climate-related disasters in the Commonwealth doubled in number from the period 1980-1990 (431) to the period 2010-2020 (815), with economic damages increasing from $39 billion to $189 billion over the same time frames.

In earlier discussions at COP26, the Secretary-General reiterated the call for developed countries to deliver the promised $100 billion in annual climate finance to support developing nations, both for adaptation as well as mitigation purposes.

She added that funds also need to be accessible to the smallest and most vulnerable countries, who currently have difficulties tapping into finance due to lack of capacity and data.

ALSO READ-Commonwealth Secretary General lauds Modi’s green push

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UAE bids to host COP28 in 2023

Leaders say nation ready to host global climate conference in 2023…reports Asian Lite News

UAE leaders say the country is ready to host global climate change conference Cop28 in 2023, if selected.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the Emirates was geared up to help drive plans to protect the planet.

Sheikh Mohammed said the Emirates has won international backing for its bid to stage the event in 2023.

The UAE is currently playing a leading role in the current conference, Cop26, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Efforts to protect the planet and slow climate change remain at the forefront of the international agenda.

 “The UAE has submitted a request to host the Cop28 conference in 2023, the largest global conference of heads of state and government on climate and environmental issues,” Sheikh Mohammed posted on Twitter.

He said the UAE was primed to welcome the world in two years time to help shape green plans for the years to come.

“Many countries have supported our request, and we are looking forward to announcing the selection of the host country within the next two days,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

“The UAE will be ready for the global event if it wins the hosting.”

His sentiments were shared by Sheikh Mohamed, who underlined the UAE’s desire to combat climate change.

“The host country for Cop28 in 2023 will soon be chosen,” said Sheikh Mohamed on Twitter.

“As a nation committed to international co-operation and positive action, the UAE is ready and willing to host this crucial global gathering aimed at accelerating efforts to address our planet’s shared climate challenges.”Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, delivered an open invitation from the UAE to the world for partnership to find sustainable solutions that will tackle climate change and create sustainable economic growth with positive social impact.

Mohammed bin Rashid

Earlier, Dr. Al Jaber made the invitation when he delivered the UAE’s National Statement to the 26th session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

He conveyed to delegates warm greetings from the leadership, government and people of the UAE, as the country focuses on building international cooperation, and developing valuable partnerships to advance global progress, in the same spirit in which the UAE has welcomed the world to Expo 2020 Dubai – ‘connecting minds, creating the future’.

Dr. Al Jaber also expressed sincere gratitude towards the Asia Pacific Group of nations for their endorsement of the UAE’s bid to host COP28 in 2023.

He told COP26 delegates, “We are proud to have been endorsed as the hosts of COP28 by the Asia Pacific Group of nations. I would also like to pay tributes to all partners and friends backing our nation’s bid. We look forward to upcoming sessions and discussions with the aim of securing international support for our offer to be confirmed as the host of COP28 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UAE is honoured to welcome all parties to work on developing an ambitious agenda for COP28 in 2023 that will accelerate the development of practical solutions and make crucial progress on climate action”.

Dr. Al Jaber highlighted the UAE’s expertise in climate action, its focus on sustainable growth, and its capabilities and potential for hosting the world’s largest and most important international climate change event. He said, “Our nation’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, set out the principles of sustainability in all sectors. These principles have been integral to our nation’s efforts in protecting the environment, diversifying energy sources, and developing policies to reduce the impact of climate change. The effects of climate change transcend borders, and are relevant to all nations, small or large, developed or developing, rich or poor.”

The visionary UAE leadership views climate action as an opportunity for sustainable economic and social growth, and this drives the country’s climate strategy.

Dr. Al Jaber said that global climate action must address the different needs of all stakeholders. He told delegates, “We should avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.”

ALSO READ: Mohammed bin Rashid welcomes Prez of Colombia at Expo 2020 Dubai

He said the UAE has entered a new era of transition in the energy sector. “We view this as an opportunity to focus on new paths towards the future. We believe that investing in low-carbon solutions in the energy sector will drive economic prosperity. Launched last October, the UAE ‘Net Zero by 2050’ Strategic Initiative reflects the vision of our leadership and the ambitions we have outlined for the ‘Next 50’ years of our nation. It is also an open call from the UAE to the world for partnership and cooperation to find sustainable solutions, while creating incentives for economic growth.”

The UAE has pledged to make climate security a priority when it joins the UN Security Council in 2023. Fulfilling the US$100 billion pledge by developed nations to support climate action in developing countries will play a vital role in mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change. In addition, there is a strong need to create an investment ecosystem to support sustainable growth.


UAE, Pak sign agreement to boost efforts in climate, the environment at COP26

The UAE and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in the fields of climate change mitigation and adaptation and environmental protection in line with the national legislations of the two countries…reports Asian Lite News

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, and Malik Amin Aslam, Minister for Climate Change and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, signed the agreement on the sidelines of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

UAE, Pak sign agreement to boost efforts in climate, the environment at COP26

Focus areas include environment and climate change, renewable energy, climate smart agriculture, drought management, and environmental education and capacity building.

MARIAM ALMHEIRI, MINISTER OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ENVIRONMENT: “In line with the forward-looking vision of its wise leadership, the UAE is keen to build bridges of cooperation with all countries in the face of global challenges, and views multilateral diplomacy as a strategic priority of its future agenda. The UAE and Pakistan enjoy long-standing collaboration across multiple sectors, such as education, health, energy, infrastructure development, food security, and the environment. The new MoU will help us tackle climate change together through boosting mitigation and adaptation capabilities and conserving environmental resources and biodiversity.”

Amin Aslam said, “We are pleased to take our already strong bilateral ties with the UAE to new heights. Through the agreement, we hope to drive joint efforts in safeguarding terrestrial and marine environments and fight climate change through upscaling mitigation and adaptation measures.

“The MoU will enable us to capitalise on successful experiences and models in climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy solutions, and scientific research to build a better future for the current and next generations,” he added.

The two countries agreed to jointly launch new and expand existing ecosystem restoration initiatives in a way that promotes the objectives of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

In addition, they will facilitate the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices and renewable energy solutions, develop drought management plans, promote ecotourism and desert tourism, run training programmes for environmental and climate specialists, and roll out marine ecosystem conservation and blue carbon initiatives.

ALSO READ: President of Cyprus received UAE Foreign Minister

The UAE and Pakistan will also initiate exchange of information on climate change between their educational institutions, support the implementation of innovative ideas and projects stemming from academia, and conduct joint environmental research.

To achieve progress in these areas, the two nations will share relevant knowledge, experience, and publications, exchange visits between specialists to explore technical aspects of climate-smart practices and zero-emission technologies, and collaborate with regional and global environmental protection organisations to meet environmental agreements while serving mutual interests.

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Campaign to promote awareness about sustainable fashion

Earth Day, which began in 1970 as a grassroots movement, led to the passage of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act…reports Vishal Gulati on Monday formally launched its new campaign “Fashion for the Earth” dedicated to changing the trajectory of the fashion industry and educating the public on sustainable fashion.

Sustainable fashion refers to a clothing supply chain that is ecologically and socially responsible. It says the topic of sustainable fashion has been noticeably absent from the ongoing the UN climate action discussions (COP26), even though the fashion industry is responsible for 10 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Corporations, governments as well as every day individuals around the world have a role to play in the solution. From making personal changes to advocating for and legislating better, more sustainable fashion practices, to educating others about the issue, there must be commitments at all levels.

Earth Day, which began in 1970 as a grassroots movement, led to the passage of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Today, EARTHDAY.ORG will act to avert the impact of an industry that squanders the earth’s finite resources, destroys soil, contaminates fresh water with hazardous chemicals, and pollutes the atmosphere with carbon and the oceans with microplastics.

All for the sake of profits and with little mind to the consequences, the fast fashion industry takes a devastating toll on the labour force and the natural world.

To address the psychology and the pattern of overconsumption of clothing requires education. The new Fashion for the Earth website contains numerous educational resources and materials, including a fashion footprint calculator, sustainable fashion quiz, and additional information on the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

In the coming months, will host additional Earth Day Live digital events to highlight both fashion designers as well as industry insiders using their influence to change standards in materials and manufacturing.

Past event participants include: LaRhea Pepper, CEO, TextileExchange; Maxine Bedat, Director, New Standard Institute; Lewis Perkins, President, Apparel Impact Institute; and Lucie Brigham, Chief of Office, UN Office for Partnerships.

As a part of the campaign, has recruited Fashion for the Earth Ambassadors including Melissa Tan, Host and Producer, Actress, Climate Activist and zero waste advocate; LaRhea Pepper, CEO, Textile Exchange; and Kerry Bannigan, Executive Director, Fashion Impact Fund and Co-Founder, Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network.

This group of industry insiders and young professionals around the world have pledged to responsible clothing consumption and are working to educate others on how they can make sustainable changes in their lives.

‘My Planet, My Closet’ is designed to create a dialogue around sustainable fashion and change the prevailing mindset around shopping.

‘My Planet, My Closet’ is a play on the typical fast fashion hauls circulating on social media but with a twist.

ALSO READ-Global battle reflects on fashion magazine covers

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Obama to face ITR protests at COP26

ITR is centering the voices and leadership of frontline communities and workers on the global stage…reports Vishal Gulati

The It Takes Roots (ITR) delegation representing more than 60 frontline communities leaders and organisers will be taking action inside and outside the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) meetings in this Scottish city on Monday.

While former US President Barack Obama will hold a roundtable and meetings with key leaders, the ITR will be highlighting the ‘Monster of Militarism’ and the contradictions of his legacy of militarism, including greater military expansion into the Pacific, the expansion of drone warfare and the use of military interventions on water protectors fighting against the Dakota Action Pipeline.

Communities across the world have been devastated by war and occupation. The action during COP26 will point to the fact that the US military is the single largest consumer of fossil fuels in the world, and has served as the enforcer of occupation of indigenous and sovereign lands while upholding violent resource extraction across the world.

ITR believes that addressing climate change requires ending the military industrial complex.

Among the speakers during the action will be Alejandra M. Lyons of the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP).

“I am attending COP26 to represent New Mexico and to tell our world leaders that we are not a sacrifice zone. Our land and water must be protected as well as the rights of future Nuevo Mexican generations.

“We need to hold the US military accountable in this climate conversation no matter how much power they hold in our state,” Lyons said.

Sheila Babauta of the Micronesia Climate Change Alliance will address the situation in the Pacific region.

“I am attending COP26 as an indigenous woman from the US territories in the Pacific. With the increasing militarization of the Pacific region and the climate crisis at our shorelines, we must join our allies to amplify our voices and unify on climate solutions.”

Ramon Mejia, the Anti-Militarism National Organiser of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, is another speaker at the protest.

“Over 790 military bases across 81 countries, colonies, and territories. The world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels, and the worst emitter of greenhouse gases. We cannot meaningfully address the devastation caused by climate change without addressing the top contributors, including the US military.

“The US must come to terms with both the human and ecological costs of maintaining the current course,” he added.

ITR is centering the voices and leadership of frontline communities and workers on the global stage. Its frontline delegation demands that world leaders commit to real solutions to advance climate justice and environmental justice at COP26.

Allowing for neoliberal constructs such as net-zero emissions, which equate carbon emission offsets and technology investments with real emissions reductions at source, would exacerbate existing pollution burdens on frontline communities. ITR is calling for a just transition off of fossil fuels at the international climate negotiations.

ALSO READ: Israel Rejects US Consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem

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APWLD slams COP26 for snubbing feminists

The UK government has initially imposed strict restrictions on Covid-19 vaccines accepted by its government, which blatantly ignored vaccine inequity and capitalism orchestrated by the rich countries…reports Vishal Gulati.

Members and partners of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) are enraged by the deliberate exclusion of feminists and grassroots women at the 26th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow.

APWLD member and SERUNI Indonesia’s Triana Wardani is one of the very few women representing grassroots communities from the global south who successfully arrived in Glasgow for the COP26.

However, Triana noted that the discriminatory Covid-19 travel restrictions by the UK government made the process extremely difficult and alienating.

The first week of COP26 ended on Saturday while on the UN premises powerful nations play politics of business as usual.

The UK government has initially imposed strict restrictions on Covid-19 vaccines accepted by its government, which blatantly ignored vaccine inequity and capitalism orchestrated by the rich countries.

When the UK government decided to remote its tighter restrictions, it was already too late for many feminist organisations.

Triana added despite being physically present, feminists, grassroots women, along with other civil society organisations, have remained excluded at the COP26. Hours of queue every day, extremely inadequate ticketing system among many more logistical complications made it almost impossible for women from the Global South to take part in COP26.

“This deliberate exclusion of feminists and grassroots women only reflects the continuing gross neglect of women’s voices amid the worsening climate crisis. The real situation experienced by women from frontline communities in the Global South due to climate change must be conveyed and heard by the world community to prevent false climate solutions and boost action to realise climate justice,” Triana told.

For Yasso Kanti Bhattachan of the National Indigenous Women Forum of Nepal, the world leaders cannot make decisions without meaningful participation of the rural and indigenous women of the Global South who are at the forefront of the war against climate emergency.

“Our voices are missing. World leaders have just declared their commitment to halt deforestation and land degradation with A¿14 billion by 2030. The fund is not only too small for a span of nine years, but there is also no meaningful consultation with Indigenous Peoples prior to the declaration.

“In the declaration, we can hardly find commitment to tackle the drivers of the destruction of our land and forest in the name of tackling climate crises such as many massive hydropower projects in Nepal,” Yasso explained to.

Under the banner of the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC), Triana, together with other feminists and activists present at the COP26 staged a protest to dedicate a space for the amissing voices’ of women of COP26.

During the protest, women lined up in the COP26 negotiation zone and one-by-one called the names of women who are missing at the conference — those who were not able to attend physically, and those who were persecuted and murdered for protecting the environment.

Climate Watch Thailand Executive Director and APWLD member Wanun Permpibul, one of the names called during the WGC protest, noted that the exclusion of both grassroots women and peoples of the developing countries has robbed them of the opportunity to demand real actions and accountability for false climate solutions that have exacerbated the conditions of women in the Global South.

“(There is a need) to break the strong and long rooted capitalism that is in favour of large-scale development, and the false solutions including net zero, natural-based solutions and geo-engineering that prioritise profits at the expense of natural resources and women’s livelihoods,” Wanun explained.

Wanun added that false climate solutions have not only misdirected the issue and further harmed biodiversity and ecosystems, but have also perpetuated oppression of women through militarisation, fundamentalisms and patriarchy, and have strengthened authoritarian governments.

The Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) is a leading network of feminist organisations and grassroots activists in Asia Pacific. Its 266 members represent groups of diverse women from 30 countries in Asia Pacific.

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SPECIAL: Commonwealth Supports COP26

The initiative was supported by the Prime Ministers of Fiji and Antigua and Barbuda, who joined the discussions along with ministers from Zambia, Namibia and Uganda…reports Asian Lite News

Leaders from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific have expressed their strong support for a proposed ‘Living Lands Charter’ that will spur cooperation among 54 nations to manage land use sustainably, protect the natural world and fight climate change.

During a high-level event this week at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland reiterated a “call to action for living lands”, integrating the targets of the three Rio Conventions on biodiversity, climate change and desertification, which arose from the historic 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

SPECIAL: Commonwealth Supports COP26

She said: “The proposed Commonwealth Living Lands Charter seeks to catalyse the global political momentum for enhancing climate action, building resilience, reducing biodiversity loss, and arresting land degradation.”

Focus areas to be explored within the charter include climate resilient agriculture, soil and water conservation and management, sustainable green cover and biodiversity, and the active engagement of indigenous people.

The initiative was supported by the Prime Ministers of Fiji and Antigua and Barbuda, who joined the discussions along with ministers from Zambia, Namibia and Uganda.

HAKAINDE HICHILEMA, PRESIDENT, ZAMBIA: “Zambia is a proud member of the Commonwealth and we are delighted to associate ourselves with this important call. For us, the conservation of biodiversity, which constitutes our natural capital is critical to ensure we achieve our aspirations of ensuring a green economy and socio-economic development.”

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, stated: “I commend the Secretary-General for the Living Lands initiative in which she and the Commonwealth are playing their part in ensuring that we protect our biodiversity and protect human civilisation.

“There is a need to accelerate implementation of the various initiatives so that we can contain global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. To do otherwise would be to fail small island states.”

Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, said: “We need not forsake prosperity to preserve our natural world. We can be excellent environmental stewards while we improve the standards of living for our people.

“The Rio Conventions reflect the commitment of all countries to preserve the global environment. Let’s meet that commitment now, with the courage to act.”

ALSO READ: Youth Take Centre Stage at COP26

Executive Director of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Ibrahim Thiaw, and Deputy Executive Director of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, David Cooper, also supported the Commonwealth’s Call for Action on Living lands, emphasising the need for collaboration and an integrated approach to achieve the targets set by the three Rio conventions.

To date, consultations on the proposed Living Lands Charter have been undertaken with 23 countries to garner support for initiative, alongside engagements at the regional level and with development partners.

These will continue with a view to receiving universal endorsement at the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), scheduled to be held in Kigali, Rwanda in 2022.