With the end of COP 26 on 13 November, Glasgow seems to have been yet another missed opportunity to take decisive action and keep global temperature increases under 1.5C.
Climate scientists say that, based on concrete commitments before and during COP 26, Planet Earth could be affected by global temperature increases of 1.8C – 2.4C, leading to catastrophic impacts.
We are particularly concerned about:
- the lack of binding commitments by richer nations to address loss and damage in poorer countries; and
- The acceptance of a phase-down rather than a phase-out of coal-powered energy generation.
Climate Action Tracker estimated the promises made at the Glasgow Summit would warm the planet by 2.7C and it rated Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to climate change as ‘Highly Insufficient”, among the worst, lumping us in with Australia and Japan. New Zealand even won a Fossil Award on the penultimate day of COP26 (see https://www.newsroom.co.nz/cop26/pro-talks-nz-awarded-humiliating-fossil-status-at-cop26
A slow start, last minute targets and a 5 month delay to the implementation of carbon budgets under the Zero Carbon Act have been underlined by the Prime Minister’s failure to attend in Glasgow. It is also hard to see how Aotearoa will meet its commitment to methane reduction given its selective treatment of agricultural emissions.
It seems to us that the Government is not getting the message that “Go Early Means Now”
To dive into the details of our last minute commitments, we recommend reading COP26: New Zealand’s new climate pledge is a step up, but not a ‘fair share’ by Robert McLachlan, Professor in Applied Mathematics, Massey University published by The Conversation.
So Fridays for Future Aotearoa NZ will continue our protests for climate justice outside Parliament House in Wellington every Friday from 12.30 – 1.30pm. We started our protests in May 2019 with a call for a Climate Emergency. This call was answered in December 2020 by the Government by declaring a nationwide Climate Emergency. The lack of meaningful climate action orchestrated by our Government – or how Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Centre at Penn State University calls it, – the Implementation Gap – is the reason why we continue protesting. Click the link below to hear the voices of protesters who joined the Global Climate Strike earlier this year.