Guest blog for the “Caribbean Voices for Climate Justice” series by Yves Renard, Panos Caribbean

October 26, 2021


COP 26, will it be a true landmark moment?

COP 26, the next Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been billed as a landmark moment in humanity’s struggle against the impending climate disaster. The disaster is at our doorstep, and this year it has been inside the flooded homes of hundreds of people in Germany and the United Kingdom, inside the burnt houses in Australia’s Blue Mountains, deep into the Californian sequoia forests that succumbed to flames and has swept across the villages and farms devastated by fire in many countries of southern Europe. For small islands, the disasters have become far too common, with stronger hurricanes, floods, unusually long and extreme droughts, and sea-level rise threatening shorelines.

For the powerful countries in the Global North, those that have the largest carbon footprint, the climate disaster is no longer the reality of distant islands and continents or that of a distant future. It is real, and it is now. It would be a shame if the G20 and the COP26 do not reaffirm the fundamental commitments of achieving a carbon-neutral world by mid-century and ensure that temperature increase is capped at a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. As stated by Prof. Michael Taylor of the University of the West Indies, “heading to 2°C is too much for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Even at 1.5°C, we are only guaranteed half a chance of a liveable future”.

Click here to read the full blog post by Yves Renard of Panos Caribbean.