Why are we doing this?
The historic arrival of the UN climate negotiations (COP26) to Glasgow in November 2021 is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness in Scotland (and beyond) of how climate crises are affecting people across the world.
We are particularly keen to raise awareness that climate change is nearly always felt most acutely by those that have done least to cause it; often people in low-income countries, with the lowest carbon footprint.
By highlighting this reality, we hope we can help build support for climate action that is rooted in principles of climate justice.
We also think the multi-dimensional nature of the climate crisis and the inequalities it reveals reinforces the vital importance of global sustainable development.
We hope these images and films show that action on climate is not just about saving nature and endangered animals throughout the world, but is also integral to tackling global poverty, reducing inequalities and ensuring prosperity for humans, everywhere.
The climate crisis most often affects people who have done the least to cause it, particularly those in lower income countries where resources to help mitigate, adapt and build resilience are in short supply.
Despite doing least to cause the climate crisis, it is the poorest communities with the lowest carbon footprint around the world that are most vulnerable to the devastating impacts of changing weather patterns, floods, droughts and storms. For poorer communities, there is very little safety net when crops fail or homes are destroyed.
Climate justice is about acknowledging and responding to the social, economic and public health inequities brought about by climate change. Richer countries like Scotland, which are major contributors to global climate change, must take responsibility both for reducing our outsize emissions contributions, and for providing support and resources to help those most affected build resilience and adaptability to survive the crisis.
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference. It will be held in Glasgow, a year late due to COVID-19, under the presidency of the UK government.
The conference will incorporate the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 16th meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol, and the third meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement.
It will be the most important climate negotiations since the Paris Agreement in 2015. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, the leading civil society climate coalition in Scotland, has put together these useful COP26 FAQs. Check it out!
Given the failures of COP25 in Madrid in 2019, COP 26 will be the most important climate change conference since COP 21 in 2015 when the landmark Paris Agreement was reached. This agreement commits countries to take action to ensure that global average temperature increases are kept “well below” 2C and to “pursue efforts” towards limiting global warming to 1.5C.
However, current national pledges for action are wholly inadequate for meeting this goal, and the consequences will be cataclysmic – millions more people exposed to heatwaves, droughts and annihilation of natural resources upon which they rely – according to this landmark report.
Indeed, this COP will be one of the first tests of the Paris Agreement, as it marks the point when countries must submit new and increased “Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)” which state how they will all make greater domestic contributions to global efforts.
It could also be a landmark moment for global climate justice, but that will only happen if rich countries like the UK show leadership and step up their game.
This film was made by Stop Climate Choas Scotland in the run up to the 2021 Scottish Election and explains why they think it is necessary to have a climate Justice fund supporting climate action across the world.
WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 27 million people with clean water and 27 million people with decent toilets.
SCIAF is the official relief and development agency of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Compelled by Christ’s love, we help people in the world’s poorest places to lift themselves out of poverty, work together to protect our common home, and help people recover from disaster. For five decades we’ve reached out to our global neighbours in need, irrespective of their race, religion or background. We work in partnership with local and church organisations, supporting communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America, to bring about lasting change. We put pressure on governments to care for the planet and create a fairer, more peaceful world.
Mercy Corps is a leading global organisation powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action – helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.