COP26 – the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference starts in Glasgow at the weekend – and Leamington resident Chris Philpott, a Green activist of 40 years, argues it is vital if the planet is to be saved for future generations. Here he explains why.
I ATTENDED both the Copenhagen and the Paris Climate Talk protests. I am now deeply disappointed that the 1.5 degrees centigrade target of the Paris agreement is slipping away. Although Paris got an agreement this conference needs global agreement that its recommendations will be implemented by all countries fully. Some scientists are now saying we have only four years to drastically turn things round or runaway climate change may ensue. I am going to COP26 to join protests as I see it as our last chance to get our government and other governments to take drastic action to reduce emissions. Our government has not been a good example to the world of recognising and confronting the Climate Emergency. They have still not insulated our homes, developed solar and wind power – and in fact are sponsored by fossil fuel companies and even intend to open up a new oil field in the North Sea.
Meanwhile there is another major problem – that we have two world competing ideologies coming to the table. In one corner China and in the other the America and the democracies of the rest of the world. I have studied Chinese communism from its early days and the system there is state capitalism under the strict control of a ruling elite who think that the atheist Marxist Leninist ideology should dominate the world. In the opposing corner are the democracies of the world who believe in free market capitalism. The Chinese are so paranoid of democracy and freedom of thought that they would do anything to show it is poison to justify their position as dictators and so will take any opportunity to show their power against the rest of the world. They might not co-operate because they are upset by the recent “free” world investing in naval hardware in the Pacific and because the UK is not happy with them building their nuclear reactors or want to use their digital technology.
I am a concerned citizen not an “expert” but have spent five years writing and researching a book on the Climate Emergency entitled “The Climate Emergency and Green Spirituality Activism- a last chance to change our values”. It is clear that big players China and America both lose in the future without an agreement. For China the consequence is their food source in the North China Plain will disappear with drought and their industrial heartlands on the coast will be destroyed by sea level rises. For America it will mean their economic base in California will be wiped out by a dire shortage of water and rampant wild fires. Agricultural production in the whole South West will stop and the Prairies will produce little wheat.
Everybody loses without an agreement.