Scottish activists have occupied a building in the city centre in order to provide safe and secure accommodation to protesters who have been forced to sleep rough or make do with unsuitable arrangements because of the chronic shortage of affordable lodgings at Cop26.
One of the organisers explained that a number of Indigenous elders had approached local activists requesting blankets so that they might sleep rough. “It’s horrific that these people have come to make their voices heard, and we have all this money for the helicopters flying above our heads but these elders don’t have anywhere warm and dignified to sleep.”
The lack of affordable accommodation has been well-documented – at previous summits, local government worked with activists to provide hostel-style accommodation for those who could not afford expensive hotel rooms, converting gym halls and community centres into bunkhouses. While recognising that Covid-19 restrictions add an extra layer of difficulty this year, activists have been highly critical of the lack of practical action from Glasgow city council
The activists hope to keep the building open for visitors until the end of the conference, but note there is no legal protection for squatting under Scots law.
A longer version of the website will be on the website soon.
at 2.03pm EDT
Ed Miliband, the shadow Cop26 president, has said that capitalism does not need to be overthrown as a prerequisite for action on the climate crisis. Speaking to the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast for tomorrow’s episode on finance, he said the emphasis must be on greening capitalism, not replacing it with another system.
“I think fundamentally changing the way capitalism works is the prerequisite [for action on the climate]. And given the urgency, we’ve got to get on with this. Some people who listen to this podcast want to overthrow capitalism. That’s not me,” he said. “We’ve got nine years to turn this round.”
The former Labour leader said the world needed to deal with the “carbon bubble” in the financial system, incubating a financial crisis if companies did not change.
“At some point, investors and shareholders will realise we’re gonna have to act … We could see it actually collapse in all of these investments that we’ve invested in.”
The interview will be available on the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast, which is producing an episode every day for Cop26.
at 12.57pm EDT
Cop26 “a failure” unless finance flows to frontline communities – campaigners
Climate Action Network (CAN), a global network of 1,500 or so environmental civil society organisations in more than 130 countries, used their first press conference to call out the lack of concrete details and ambition so far on crucial issues like reducing emissions, climate finance and loss and damage.
“We’ve heard a flurry of announcements so far, but most belong in the category of lip service … leaders making statements for headlines, but we all need to get into the details as that’s where the devils are,” said Harjeet Singh, senior adviser at CAN, who talked about the millions of people who have already lost their homes, land and livelihoods because of the climate breakdown causing rising sea levels, and increasingly intense droughts and floods.
“We will judge Cop26 on how much rich countries stand in solidarity with vulnerable people … If there is no stream of finance agreed for people now, we will call this Cop a failure.”
The UK government’s claims that this would be the most inclusive Cop in history, has come back to bite them as it seems increasingly clear that the opposite is true.
For instance, environmental NGOs are allowed only four delegates into the negotiations area, even though there are six meeting rooms. “We call on the UNFCCC and presidency [UK government] to take immediate action so that the voices of those communities and indigenous peoples most impacted by climate change and climate action can be heard in the negotiating rooms,” said Sebastian Duyck from the Centre for International Environmental Law.”
CAN will hold a press conference every day for the rest of Cop, to offer their views on the substance and equity – or lack of – of what’s pledged and announced by states and governments. Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO of Oxfam GB, summed it up like this: “Climate action without climate justice is technically and morally bankrupt.”