If you have been following the news recently, you might be aware that this Sunday, October 31st, witnesses the beginning of the Cop26 Conference. Much like another event on this day, it has the potential to be scary.
Cop26 is the United Nations Climate Change Conference – where countries from all over the world will meet in Glasgow, Scotland, to discuss ways of tackling the looming threat of advanced climate change. We say “advanced” climate change because climate change is already here; the globe has increased in warmth, natural disasters are far more frequent and, quite tragically, we simply are not doing enough.
Should we continue on our current path, life on earth becomes increasingly untenable and unstable. Increased temperatures means agriculture becomes unsustainable – further meaning that, with an ever increasing human population, there will eventually be more demand than supply for food. Add in the rising natural disasters, pandemics, war and wealth divides which come as knock-on effects of climate change, you soon come to realize that humanity is in grave danger. If we do not act seriously and responsibly in the early part of the 21st century, there may not be a 22nd.
This is not a writer’s opinion, this is scientific fact backed up by countless amounts of data from experts. So, then, why aren’t our leaders doing enough? World leaders govern with one sole objective: ensuring and preserving the welfare of their own citizens. In democratic countries, especially, this is the mandate leaders are sworn in on – elections are won by those deemed by the public, whether right or wrong, to be the candidate most likely to benefit their people; the candidate most fit to ensure the state serves the interests of its people.
Scientists, academics and various other experts are quite unified in their concerns regarding climate change, so why are they being ignored at such dismissive levels? Why is UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, halving domestic flight tax in a country small enough to easily commute via train? Why is Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, warning of climate change whilst buying up oil pipelines? Why is US President Joe Biden, one of the presumed foremost leaders in the race to tackle climate change, pushing for further oil production? In addition to a climate crisis, we also have a hypocrisy crisis – one being funded by the globe’s biggest businesses and those who run them.
We all know of Jeff Bezos and Amazon. Though Jeff Bezos handed over the reins of Amazon to Andy Jassy earlier this year, Bezos remains very much a part of Amazon’s decision making. In recent times, Amazon has joined the campaign against climate change; pledging to be using 100% renewable energy by 2030 and an overall net zero carbon target of 2040 – beating the Paris Agreement requirements by 10 years. Despite this, Amazon remains one of the world’s biggest polluters; courting the gas and oil industry and, per the New York Times, is aligned with Competitive Enterprise Institute – a prominent, free market Washington Think Tank of climate change denial origin. Factor in Bezos playing with heavy polluter space rockets and his actions soon paint an obvious picture. Therefore, one must assume that – much like world leaders – Amazon takes a similar course of saying one thing and acting out the opposite. Billionaires too easily profit from capital which directly causes climate change and rather than change course and pursue greener alternatives for less profit, these billionaires will continue on the current course for as long as they can – or until it is too late.
With Cop26 being a proposed moment of unity – one in which countries, leaders and people of all cultures and background come together as one to tackle the greatest threat in human history – all we are receiving is posturing and false promises from those who, more than anyone, directly influence the climate crisis we are currently all a part of. We deserve better than the current course we are taking. The earth deserves better than the current course. If nations cannot come together at Cop26 and seriously plan out a strategy to ensure our own survival now, then they never will: our futures, and the futures of future generations, become more murky than they need ever be.
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