COP26 has finally arrived and news from the event has been hard to escape. From the vast wealth of world leaders to the attendance of numerous celebrities, why exactly is the summit such an important event?
COP events bring together leaders from across the world to discuss climate issues and how we should approach them on a global level. Every year these events are pivotal in the worldwide discussion of environmental protection.
While always important, this year’s event is perhaps slightly more significant than usual. With last year’s gathering postponed due to Covid-19, world leaders now have to catch up on two years worth of climate issues.
Additionally, as many countries now look towards rebuilding after Covid, there is a fantastic opportunity for more climate considerations to be taken to ensure greater environmental protection in the future.
COP26 is also falling just after the IPCC report was released earlier this year which detailed how if we do not act soon, rising climates will become unavoidable.
Speaking on the rising global temperature UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success.”
It is abundantly clear that COP26 is a major event in the global battle against climate change. While always important, this event lands on what is a major turning point for the battle against climate change.
With recent events across Europe as well, there is a worldwide spotlight on climate issues. Wildfires across Turkey and Italy have opened many peoples eyes to the severity of climate change and the damage it could cause in the future.
Hopefully, with such clear evidence of the global crisis we face, world leaders will be able to recognise and actively address these issues in an effective manner.
While it certainly is an important event, it is also important to consider the hypocrisy brought about by the event. Giant motorcades operated by President Biden and food menus that far exceed typical carbon footprints certainly detract from the importance of the event.
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Organisers need to remain vigilant that the coordination of the event does not detract from the overall message. If the involved individuals are directly contrasting the message of the event it isn’t going to bode well for public opinion.
Here’s hoping that COP26 actually aids in the battle against climate change rather than serving as some form of publicity.