Conference of the People delivers the ‘People’s Decision for Climate Justice’ to the UN Climate Summit and parades out of the COP to join climate justice movements outside
This morning, as the climate summit draws to a close, the COP26 Plenary Room was filled to capacity by the UN constituencies representing civil society groups and climate justice movements from across the globe to stand firm on the just and urgent outcome needed at COP26.
The groups delivered the People’s Decision for Climate Justice to the UN Climate Summit, which reads:
The time for words without action has come and gone. We no longer have the luxury of time to sit back and allow governments and private interests to destroy our future. Scientific predictions are increasingly dire; it is not hyperbolic to assert that the very future of humanity depends on the outcomes of these negotiations. Governments must immediately heed the growing demands of those already facing crisis and those who will face crisis and bravely reimagine our world in a way that guarantees everyone the right to live with dignity and in harmony with our planet.
Speaking at the People’s Plenary were representatives of the UNFCCC civil society constituencies: Indigenous People, farmers & peasants, youth, women & gender, trade unions, disabled people, independent researchers, academic institutions and environmental NGOs.
Hundreds of people then left plenary, holding a red line to symbolise the lines which have been crossed by the 26th UN Climate Summit in not delivering the just and urgent outcome needed at COP26.
They have paraded to the main gates and met by a rally of climate justice movements hosted by Fridays for Future Scotland and Extinction Rebelion Scotland.
People’s Plenary Quotes:
Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Indigenous Peoples said: “Cop26 is a performance. It is an illusion constructed to save the capitalist economy rooted in resource extraction and colonialism. I didn’t come here to fix the agenda – I came here to disrupt it.”
Tasneem Essop from CAN International said: “We came here to address the suffering of millions and millions of people affected by the pandemic, and also affected by climate impacts. Yet, as we sit in our People’s Plenary, those leaders have been busy signing off and deleting the things we’ve fought for from the agreement. Human, indigenous and gender rights have been signed out of the text.”
Jason Boberg of the Disability Caucus said: “People with disabilities are on the frontlines of climate change, and on the frontlines of the eco-ableist responses to it. Disabled people are literally left behind to die. This is a choice governments are making. There is no climate justice without accessibility.”
Soumya Dutta, from Demand Climate Justice constituency: “We want to tell these frauds and so-called leaders, the puppets of the financial world, that you are committing not only the biggest crime in human history against humanity, not only is this the biggest crime in a generation but the the biggest crime against all life.”
Marissa Reyes-Díaz from the Farmers constituency said: “We reject the military occupation of our lands and demand the military be held accountable for their crimes and their role in polluting land, air and water. No war, no warming, no more immunity. As a woman from Puerto Rico, we demand decolonization, cancelation of debt for our countries, landback for farmers and ancestral people and reparations for most affected communities. This exclusive, non-participatory COP26 should have committed to a real Reparations fund so our countries can implement their grassroots solutions.”
Mika Minio-Paluello of the Trade Unions Congress said: “Business as usual will not fix the crisis. But it does not have to be this way. We need good, climate friendly jobs to build the trust and support needed to deliver a rapid and just transition. We need a just transition in every workplace in every country – for fossil fuel workers, farm and agricultural workers, health workers and transport workers – for everyone in a job.”
Kavita Naidu from the Gender and Women constituency said: “These leaders keep failing us, and they continue to fail us because they just don’t have what it takes to do what needs to be done. We stand on the shoulders of those women who had the courage and audacity to stand up to the patriarchy then. Now, we are fighting back and we are fighting back harder, demanding justice.”
Chandelle O’Neil, YOUNGO said: “Young people have pushed for social change in the climate movement, the youth strikes have transformed opinions in society and political discourse, and legal actions are holding corporations and countries accountable to science and innovation. We are the future and let the future speak for itself.”
Tracy Bach, RINGO, said: “More media, parties and NGOs were accredited this year than ever before. Does that make it inclusive? No. In terms of fair process, you can’t invite more people than you can actually include in the process.”
Chairs – Mary Church, Friends of the Earth Scotland/ COP26 Coalition, Mohamed Adow, PowerShift Africa
Indigenous Peoples – Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Tla A’min Nation
CAN International – Tasneem Essop,
Demand Climate Justice – Soumya Dutta
Disability Caucus – Jason Boberg
Gender & Women – Kavita Naidu
RINGO – Tracy Bach
Farmers – Marissa Reyes, Organización Boricuá, La Via Campesina
TUNGO – Mika Minio-Paluello, TUC
YOUNGO – Chandelle O’Neil