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World NewsCOP26 sharply criticized as the most exclusionary climate summit ever

COP26 sharply criticized as the most exclusionary climate summit ever

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden react throughout the “Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment” session throughout the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 2, 2021.

Jeff J Mitchell | Reuters

GLASGOW, Scotland — Climate campaigners and environmental activists have sharply criticized the group of the COP26 climate summit, describing U.N.-brokered talks as the most exclusionary they’ve ever identified.

The assembly, which formally opened on Sunday, has been billed as humanity’s final and greatest probability to stop the worst of what the climate disaster has in retailer. The U.Ok. is presiding over the talks in Glasgow, Scotland by means of to Nov. 12.

Logistical difficulties, the exclusion of individuals with disabilities and a scarcity of attendees from the Global South are simply a few of the criticisms leveled at the occasion organizers.

The COP26 presidency was not instantly obtainable to remark when contacted by CNBC on Friday.

“I’d like to be polite,” Asad Rehman, a spokesperson for the COP26 coalition, advised CNBC Tuesday when requested about his expertise of COP26 thus far. “But it will go down as the worst planned, worst organized and least effective COP that I have ever known. It is just unbelievable.”

Rehman, who stated he had been attending U.N. climate talks for over a decade, estimated that solely one-third of the standard variety of members representing the Global South had been capable of attend COP26 resulting from Covid-19 restrictions, a scarcity of reasonably priced lodging and an lack of ability to entry the convention.

This “seriously undermines” the credibility of the assembly, he stated, earlier than including that some civil society teams in attendance had additionally been “locked out” of negotiations. The COP26 coalition is a U.Ok.-based group that represents indigenous communities, frontline activists and grassroots campaigns from the Global South.

The begin of the week noticed chaotic scenes exterior the venue, with attendees caught in lengthy strains making an attempt to realize entry to the complicated at the SEC in Glasgow.

COP26 President Alok Sharma advised reporters earlier in the week that he “regrets” delegates have needed to endure prolonged strains to enter the venue.

“This is a unique COP in quite extraordinary times,” Sharma stated on Wednesday. “Of course, we regret any logistical issues that people feel are stopping them coming in in a timely manner. I hope that will settle over the next few days.”

‘Two week celebration of enterprise as standard’

However, U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa admitted that measures put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic meant the summit could not be as accessible as previous COPs.

The Climate Action Network, a worldwide alliance of greater than 1,500 environmental marketing campaign teams, referred to as for the occasion to be postponed in early September, citing considerations that it will be “impossible” to make sure a protected, inclusive and simply international climate convention.

Alexandria Villasenor, a youth U.S. climate activist, has described the summit as an “exclusionary dystopian hellscape.”

“First, it’s true, there’s one entrance for 20k attendees, it’s like a single file line for everyone to get in and get through security. I’ve spent 4 hours in line over the past 2 days. It’s chaos and a failure on the part of the organizers,” Villaseñor stated by way of Twitter on Wednesday.

The 16-year-old stated civil society teams and NGO observers had been unable to entry negotiation areas in-person and have been as an alternative left to watch the most important plenary periods on-line in a separate room.

Villasenor additionally criticized the summit for failing to contemplate the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, citing no signal language interpreters on the COP26 stage and no wheelchair entry.

Israel Energy Minister Karine Elharrar was unable to participate in the COP26 summit at the begin of the week as a result of the venue was not wheelchair accessible. She has since criticized the U.N. for failing to offer accessibility to its occasions regardless of it selling the significance of guaranteeing accessibility to these with disabilities.

U.Ok. Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized to Elharrar when the pair met on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Dipti Bhatnagar, a climate justice and vitality co-coordinator for Friends of the Earth International, an environmental group, stated final week that the U.Ok. was on track to ship “the most exclusionary COP ever.”

Bhatnagar, who was not capable of journey to Glasgow from Mozambique the place she relies, stated on Sunday: “The chaotic and last minute nature of plans to help support participation from overseas are too little too late for many delegates from global south countries.”

“It is hard to see how COP26’s outcomes could be considered fair and legitimate with those on the frontline of climate impacts unable to make their voices heard in the streets of Glasgow and in the halls of the COP,” she added.

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