COP26 ended with a broad agreement; the rule book of the Paris Agreement was finalized and the first sign within the UNFCCC for the gradual reduction (thanks to India, which stopped the term elimination) of coal and ineffective subsidies for fossil fuels. However, the Glasgow conference left the greater ambition of countries in the fight against climate change for 2022 and, once again, failed in the issue of the financing for actions of adaptation and mitigation for poor countries. The text only reflects the regret for the fact that the rich nations have not complied with the goal of mobilizing U$ 100 billion a year from 2020 for this purpose, and urges them to do so by 2025.
When analyzing the results for the Brazilian newspaper Estadão, Ana Toni, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Society, explains that the specific problem requires much greater ambition and urgency than this process has permitted. For her, what was seen were countries considering the advantages and disadvantages for their own locations, open for business, and not about protecting the future of humanity against climate change.
“This COP should not have been just one more ‘diplomatic exercise.’ This should have been ‘The COP’ to position us on the trajectory for 1.5 degrees. Unfortunately, we are still a long way from this goal. It is what Márcio Astrini, from the Climate Observatory, has been saying – I love this phrase of his: fighting climate change and reducing the emission of carbon is not something that happens in negotiations. It takes place in the forest, in the city and in different places. It is not by signing a piece of paper that, as if by magic, emissions decrease.”
For Toni, Brazil was an example of the attitude of “doing business” at COP26. Concerning climate change, she explains, “if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Brazil was definitely part of the problem. It only came to Glasgow to defend its narrow and short-term economic interests, but not to fight climate change.”
Specifically, in relation to the Amazon and the agreement signed by 195 countries, including Brazil, guaranteeing the end of the deforestation of forests by 2030, Ana is direct.
“We welcome this. However, I don’t know if we can achieve this agreement in the Amazon, with the local population, who are the first to be affected, positively or negatively, by deforestation. This is what I am talking about, this mismatch between global and local needs. If this agreement was not for 195 countries, but for 195 Amazon natives, would they arrive at the same conclusion? It is no use for 195 countries to say this if the local population is still not convinced. Like society, we have to help to make this connection. I am not saying that locals are always right or that global powers are always wrong, quite the opposite. However, it is clear that there is a separation and we are paying less attention to bringing local voices into the global debates. As long as we continue to do this, we will have many declarations – but without any force for implementation,” she concludes.
The importance of the climate crisis is reflected in the press coverage in Brazil, which has never reported on a COP with such enthusiasm, attention and space. In Brazil alone, there were almost 21,000 reports, of which more than 930 cite iCS and approximately 580 the Brazil Climate Action Hub, distributed among different platforms in the media and specialized vehicles, such as the following:
And the international press: