Now it’s our job to make sure that people across the world demand that their Governments urgently implement a real and detailed Green New Deal. This the only viable way forward in this urgent and most monumental battle for human existence.Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
Following the conclusion of COP26, Labour Outlook asked some of our those who had written for us on the climate movement during the COP, what their views were on the events outcome.
Writing for Labour Outlook, Jeremy Corbyn MP wrote, “COP26 was supposed to be the watershed moment. World leaders were supposed to provide our best chance of meeting the lifesaving goal of limiting a global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. In short, their job was to prevent what leading scientists say would be a ‘climate catastrophe’. They failed. Instead of the climate funding needed for the Global South, we were served up greenwash from a global elite protecting the interests of fossil fuel exploiting billionaires.”
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour’s former Shadow BEIS Secretary, commented, “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report stated clearly that we needed a code red response to a code red emergency but sadly the most important COP of our lifetime failed to deliver the action needed at the pace required. What we have seen is too sparse, watered down and toothless. Now it’s our job to make sure that people across the world demand that their Governments urgently implement a real and detailed Green New Deal. This the only viable way forward in this urgent and most monumental battle for human existence.”
Apsana Begum MP, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said, “The climate justice movement that came out in force in Glasgow and around the world understood that tackling climate change must come hand in hand with a radical transformation of the global economy and reparations from those who fuelled climate change to those facing its worst impacts. Sadly, if not surprisingly, world leaders and big business have not listened and the final COP26 agreement falls far short of what is needed.”
On the failure to support the most vulberable nations of the Global South, Begum said, “the least polluting countries, like Bangladesh where my parents are from originally, are at the sharp end of the chaos. In fact, Black, Asian, and indigenous peoples all over the world are far more likely to suffer the catastrophic effects of climate breakdown.”
She concluded, “Not only is there an urgent need for more ambitious targets and proper reparations at the levels needed but also the practice of forcing lower income countries to hand over billions to rich countries, banks, and international financial institutions, as a result of obscene damaging levels of debt, must be ended completely, once and for all.
We need nothing less than an anti-imperialist global Green New Deal– for democracy and international cooperation that prioritises the needs of our thriving communities and ecosystems, alike, over the destructive consumption of the super-rich and the profits of shareholders.”
And in Scotland, Mercedes Villalba MSP, Scottish Labour’s frontbench spokesperson on the Environment and Biodiversity, said, “Activists and campaigners will rightly be angry that COP26 is yet another failure of world leaders to grasp the need for urgent, radical action to tackle the climate emergency.
“This agreement barely keeps the prospect of 1.5C alive and the fossil fuel industry’s intensive lobbying efforts have evidently been successful in watering it down.
“What we need is a Socialist Green New Deal – investing in green jobs, green industries and other measures, like public ownership of energy, which will not only help to address the climate emergency, but ensure that our transition from reliance on fossil fuels is just and worker-led.
“Given that the Scottish Government have repeatedly failed to meet their own climate targets, I will continue to campaign for bolder measures to be adopted in Scotland, including an Offshore Training Passport, a publicly-owned energy company and opposition to Cambo”.
Reflecting, Corbyn said, “When we come together, we can build an alternative that protects our environment, empowers our communities, stands up for workers and creates a future of social, economic and climate justice here and in the Global South. And it is in that spirit that we will overcome the challenges brought about by climate change.”