What comes next for the climate movement?
The protests around Cop26 in Glasgow have shown that hundreds of thousands of people are angry about climate change and the politicians who do nothing about it.
They are also proof that the climate movement
can still mobilise large numbers of people.
Most of the speakers at the Glasgow demonstrations on 5 and 6 November were clear, the system must change completely to fight climate change.
Others were more explicit and said capitalism
must be uprooted to save the planet.
The protests also made the link between fighting climate change and fighting against oppression.
After Cop26 there will be a discussion about how to capitalise on this anger and build a stronger, larger climate movement.
The politicians, the corporations and the system they defend won’t be defeated simply by marches.
It will take more disruption and militancy than we have seen so far. Only a terrified ruling class is likely to make even the most basic concessions towards the policies needed to avert catastrophe.
Deepening the links between the climate movement and organised workers must be a priority. Workers’ action can turn off the root of profit.
The widespread support for the Glasgow refuse strikers
was a positive step. But most of the trade unions still back an economy based on fossil fuels. After Cop26 we must build a big, ferocious climate revolt.
Leaders won’t keep promises
Over 40 world leaders have committed to encouraging the development of new technology—especially low carbon technology.
For the most part, low carbon technology has been unreliable, expensive, and keeps the fossil fuel industry firmly in place.
A significant number of people present are calling for a shift to hydrogen power
. There were also pledges to cut down on methane emissions and to protect woodland and rainforests from deforestation.
Governments also pledged that they would make farming greener.
Of the over 100 countries present, just 45 countries had pledged on Monday to take action and provide investment into sustainable agriculture.
Only 26 countries made commitments to make policy changes to curb farming emissions.
Just because world leaders sign pledges, it doesn’t mean they have to follow them. These initiatives also ignore the larger, more immediate question of fossil fuels
The priority has to be to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Some of those inside the conference have been forced to admit that the conference is failing.
Laurence Tubiana, the head of the European Climate Foundation and France’s top negotiator, panned the conference and said, “There is no mechanism for ensuring delivery, no capacity to check these claims. “That is why I say greenwashing
is the new climate denial,” he added.