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COP26: All Said but Not Done

COP26: All Said but Not Done

BY Oladosu Adenike

“Commitments are not hard to make but fulfilling it is the most important part of it all”

 

                                                    photo credit: Oladosu Adenike


The 26th conference of Parties (COP26) brought together world leaders as it was done 6 years ago in Paris which makes it enough more important in defining the present and the future of humanity. Evaluating progress now and then still remains the same thing: no one country has met it mandate of tackling the climate crisis. Prior to the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Conference of Parties on climate change projected progress seems slow and add little to the realities on ground. We are still far away from the tract not to talk about winning the race against the climate crisis!

How does it correlate when climate change is happening at an increasing rate?Yet we are still at the stage of tackling the climate crisis by 2050! We all know the truth but we are shying away from it. In this critical time, it is expected that commitments should go beyond words to transcend into more actions. So many wrongs which can definitely not make a right, yet we are still at the point of negotiating about 100 billion dollars that was supposed to be fulfilled since 2009 to 2020. Invariably, the 100 billion dollars is not too much compare to the reality of the climate crisis. This is what happens when we postpone climate action into the future. Sadly, that is the point we found ourselves today!

But I have some existential questions to ask; why is the Paris climate agreement a voluntary action?Free entry and free exit. Why more commitments when we are yet to meet up with previous once? What happened to the cumulative financial commitment between 2009 and 2020? Are we sweeping those years of in actions under the carpet while pretending that nothing happened so we could start another deal on it? How long do we wait for climate justice? 30 or 1000 years. Rather we are still seeing fresh commitment of $700 billion every year from “2025 to 2030” and with statement on the $100 billion be doubled when the initial agreement is not met yet. Ironically, climate change is an all compassing existential crises awaiting humanity. Climate change is a political issue and we need to acknowledge it. We cannot sweep our realities under the carpet. How do you want country like mine (Nigeria) to transit towards cleaner energy and diversify our economy when we are still patronizing climate action. It is one thing to make commitment and it is another thing to become a reality as soon as possible—which is what we are fighting for.

When you were making a statement of carbon neutrality by 2050, do you think you will remain a president forever? Sometimes I wondered why leaders don’t keep commitments within their leadership framework. Any commitment beyond any leader framework is an indirect way of shying away from their responsibility by shifting responsibility to the next generation to tackle the crisis that they never could. Now delay on climate action is a denier of it! Moreso, it is now looking like COP is just a ‘talk show’ and not an action conference as it should be. We should bear in mind that the umbrella word is climate finance. Climate finance is a cut-crossing issue.

Things falling apart!

Africa is bearing the lion share of the climate crisis. At some point, it looks like financing developing countries by the developed world is like doing us a favour. Climate crisis has shown itself as a crisis that knows no boundaries hence if Africa is not safe, nowhere is safe. Though, there were agreements like; cutting down of methane emissions to 30% by 2030 while some of the biggest emitters like China, Russia and India were “absent minded” put all of us in dire situations. Rather we are seeing shifting away from necessary treaties and commitments by big polluters like Australia, India, China and U.S while countries that are the victims are the signatories to it. We are still in the same circle of commitment, there is no system change yet we want different result and outlook. All the trend of the agreement is a decade long which should not be because it just tells us that we aren’t committed to the cause of climate change. Where are the frameworks of these agreements? After two weeks of deliberations, there are no clear plans for article 6 to be completed; rather countries are looking for a common ground on making emissions reduction flexible. That’s unacceptable! This article is vital to know who we are holding accountable in reducing emissions of any form. Likewise the most anticipated issue on Lake Chad restoration which requires a global attention and greater support was lacking in the main stage deliberations. In this decade of action that needs political will; we cannot sit on the fence concerning issues that matter. It is either we end all business as usual or we continue. We have to be clear and intentional about our every step.

Adenike Oladosu ([email protected]), an ecofeminist, ecoreporter and climate justice activist from Nigeria.


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