A couple of days into COP 26
Right this moment (Sunday) is a day of relaxation at COP 26. That’s, within the formal Presidential Programme, however there are nonetheless loads of ‘aspect’ occasions taking place.
I’ve had a couple of attention-grabbing days at COP 26 to date. It’s VERY busy with many parallel classes and actions happening, each inside the principle blue zone and within the inexperienced zone and at satellite tv for pc conferences. It’s fairly arduous (perhaps unimaginable!) to observe the president’s programme and the negotiations because the ‘agenda’ for every day solely seems late the evening earlier than, so it’s troublesome to plan. Additionally lots of the ‘negotiation classes’ are usually not actually negotiations, however are a sequence of bulletins about numerous initiatives and commitments that nations (and / or organisations) have signed as much as, however the true query is whether or not they are going to ship on them, as there may be typically solely a headline and no tangible substance about supply given.
There was a calculation made that if ALL the pledges made to date are enacted then the determine reached can be 1.9 levels Celsius, which is healthier than the calculated 2.7 for which we had been beforehand on monitor BUT nonetheless doesn’t attain 1.5 levels, AND there are definitely doubts that each one the promised actions might be fulfilled. Earlier guarantees haven’t been fulfilled.
On the Paris COP there was settlement that $100bn can be transferred, by 2020, from international north to these nations who wanted to handle local weather change most (i.e. LMICs in international south) however that promise has not been fulfilled, though there may be now a dedication to take action by 2023. (We will see!)
I used to be going to stipulate some highlights for me from the previous few days, however I used to be simply distracted listening (on you tube) to the primary session of the Individuals’s Well being Listening to. It was superb. Tales and testimonies from individuals who have suffered instantly the affect of local weather change. An affidavit from the Philippines concerning the large floods a 12 months in the past (November 2020), tales of getting to take a seat on their roof till the water went down, of uncooked sewage and water pouring into their homes and attempting to clear it up, of rashes and scars from contact dermatitis, of the psychological well being impacts of getting to maneuver home 4 occasions within the final 12 months and most notably of the inequalities (as we in Public Well being would name it) – of the peoples who’ve contributed least to international emissions being essentially the most affected. Calling for ‘local weather Justice’.
And one other story of the way it was the removing of large areas of bushes, by extraction business (mining and so forth. for pure assets together with gold and fossil gas), that triggered the realm to flood, and the way the indigenous folks, shedding their houses and communities, livelihoods and lives, at the moment are being gagged by their (and international north) governments who’re nonetheless supporting the industries.
And yet one more regarding mining, in an indigenous area – West Papua (west a part of Papua New Guinea) concerning the devastation and air pollution ruining their water provide and crops and an anthropologist from the group who was murdered, (along with 130 others from the group) – and the way the household needed to flee to the Netherlands – and that the anthropologist was the storyteller’s father. No marvel he’s now an indigenous activist. However how does this hyperlink to Local weather change, properly by way of the necessity to defend forests and the staggering statistic that indigenous folks populate 5% of the world’s land however their forests are liable for almost 90% of biodiversity. They’ve maintained that for 1000’s of years, dwelling in concord with nature, in contrast to western societies. We should study from them and defend indigenous folks and their lands, if we need to avert the local weather disaster.
Very highly effective tales, I don’t do them justice right here. And what I study from that is that we should use tales and storytelling and we, as PH professionals, ought to study extra about storytelling, discover the people who find themselves instantly affected and hear and study from their experiences and utilise their experiences to affect coverage makers and the local weather and well being agenda
Professor Sue Atkinson CBE
Chair, FPH Local weather and Well being Committee