Socialist Worker

Protesters demand real action while leaders dine

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2779

Police prevented protests in Glasgow on Monday

Police prevented protests in Glasgow on Monday (Pic: Raymie Kiernan)

After a long day of climate inaction, world leaders enjoyed a lavish meal inside the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Monday.

Their dinner was opposed by over 150 angry protesters who chanted, “Shame on you”, from behind police lines.

Protesters were split into several small groups by the high numbers of police surrounding the museum.

According to one protester, a group of young activists were threatened with arrest for holding a banner and a megaphone.

During the first formal day of the conference, world leaders pledged to end deforestation by 2030. That means another decade of unchecked felling.

The promise will reportedly be signed by over 100 leaders, including far right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

Protests and strikes take on the COP26 conference
Protests and strikes take on the COP26 conference
  Read More

Bolsonaro’s government has been contributing to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest at the expense of both the planet and the indigenous people that live there.

Boris Johnson described the deal as a “landmark agreement to protect and restore the earth’s forests”.

But previous pledges to protest the earth’s forests have fallen flat.

At the UN summit on climate change in 2014, governments and corporations promised to end deforestation by 2030. Since 2014 deforestation has not slowed at all.

According to some estimates, due to the rate rainforests are being destroyed, there might be just 10 percent left by 2030.

Sonia Guajajara, head of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, said, “We need to urgently save our territories to protect the lives of indigenous people and the future of our planet.

“The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and considered a crucial bulwark against climate change.”

The world’s forests desperately need protection, but empty promises at Cop26 will not provide that.

Resist Johnson’s racist claims

Boris Johnson has compared the climate crisis to the fall of Rome—blaming its descent on “uncontrolled immigration” in his latest racist rant.

At the G20 meeting in Rome, Italy, last week Johnson said, “When the Roman Empire fell, it largely resulted from uncontrolled immigration.

“It could no longer control its borders, people came in from the east and all over the place, and we went into a Dark Ages, or Europe went into a Dark Ages that lasted a very long time.”

Global heating is leading to higher sea levels, droughts, forest fires and floods, and will force millions of people to leave their homes.

Johnson’s tirade shows that world leaders will use any excuse to attack migrants and refugees, and present them as the scapegoat for their failings..

Warming at dangerous levels

While world leaders sit and think of ways to do nothing about the climate crisis, reminders of the advancing devastation are coming to light.

According to a new report, global heating could mean that 3 billion people will be exposed to temperatures as warm as the hottest parts of the Sahara Desert by 2070. The report also notes that ideally, humans should live within a yearly average of 11-15 degrees Celsius.

“Each degree of warming above present levels corresponds to roughly 1 billion people falling outside of the climate niche,” said Tim Lenton, climate specialist and director of the Global Systems Institute at Exeter university and co-author of the report.

Lenton added, “The good news is that these impacts can be greatly reduced if humanity succeeds in curbing global warming.”

Action must be taken to slow down global heating, or else the Earth will become increasingly uninhabitable.

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