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Heather du Plessis-Allan: what was the point of COP26 anyway??

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Nov 2021, 4:55pm
(Photo / AP)
(Photo / AP)

Heather du Plessis-Allan: what was the point of COP26 anyway??

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Nov 2021, 4:55pm

This big climate change conference in Glasgow is probably doing more harm than good three days in. 

Nothing hurts a movement or an idea more than hypocrisy and there is just so much hypocrisy at COP26:  

  • Boris Johnson telling the world that when it comes to climate change “words without action are absolutely pointless” then getting a private plane to fly back to London  
  • Prince Charles flying in from Rome also on a private plane  
  • Jeff Bezos turning up to do God-knows-what there also on a private plane  

In fact, 400 private planes have flown into Glasgow in the past few days. 

The event is copping it for serving environmentally unfriendly salmon. It’s copping it for building an event so large it takes 15 minutes to walk across it. 

How much fossil fuel was burned in the making and fitting of that space?  

The news that many of the estimated 30,000 people there are hangers-on and celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio not actual decision makers. 

Does any of this make you feel like these people really believe that we are one minute to midnight on climate change?  

And then there’s the real politik of China and Russia’s leaders not evening turning up. How demoralizing is that?  

So even if you got onboard with Boris and the Queen and Greta telling you you must do something now, the leaders of two of the biggest emitters on the planet aren’t even there - so what difference will it really make if we go hard on reducing our piddly 0.17%  of global emissions?  

And then you’ve got the goal post shifting.  

We’re supposed to be aiming to bring down emissions to net zero by 2050.  But now China wants it to be 2060 and India wants it to be 2070. 

The goal was to keep the global warming to 1.5degrees but now China wants to shift that to 2 degrees. 

In the end, you wonder what was the point of COP26 anyway??  

Three days in it feels like these 30,000 people would’ve done more good for the planet by staying home and turning off the private jets; instead of burning all those fossil fuels to get there, only to change the goal posts and put on a public display of hypocrisy.