COP 26 Musings

by Lynn Sableman

 I notice that November 21 is the WILPF National report back webinar by WILPF international members at cop 26 in Glasgow. I can’t wait. A big item is representative Barbara Lee, Democrat California is the lead sponsor to introduce house resolution 767. This resolution declares that it is the ‘duty of the Department of Defense to monitor track and report greenhouse gas emissions from all its operations with the aim of reducing such emissions.’ U S Department of Defense is estimated to emit more CO2 than over 120 separate countries. HR 767 calls on the DoD to reduce the overall environmental impact of all military activities and emissions in accordance with science based emission targets set out in the National Defense authorization act for fiscal year 2022’. Immediately, 26 House members quickly stepped up to Co-sponsor. And in support, WILPF US joined with 120 other organizations to endorse HR767. Also, look at the link to Veterans for Peace actions. They have two letters to sign on to, one is thanking representatives that cosponsored this HR767 and a separate link to a letter that encourages our representatives to Co sponsor.  

    On the topic of COP 26, I listened to a webinar, ‘The climate-nuclear disarmament Nexus’ from UN Disarmament week with Alan Weir. I found it shocking to learn that the Paris agreement did not mention fossil fuels once. Even though coal, oil and gas contribute 86% of all emissions causing greenhouse gas. In attendance at COP 26 were 500 oil lobbyists outnumbering representatives from countries most affected by global warming.  The countries of India and China would not agree to phasing out the use of coal. The early industrialized countries who made the largest Carbon emissions the largest contributor to greenhouse gases is the US, we need to make investments to help poor countries become carbon neutral they need help. Saudi Arabia pumps, refines and exports the most oil. No evidence of stopping.The IPCC determined it was ‘code red for humanity.’ We need civil society to step up inlight of the failure of this COP 26 to establish a path to carbon neutrality. We need to be aware of the situation that has saddled climate action with the burden of corporate mafia, oil tycoons and coal barons. There is a climate justice activist group inspired by the bomb ban treaty, which has developed a treaty to make fossil fuel development and investment illegal. Don’t Bank on the Bomb Campaign is ICANs very sophisticated tool for divestment, this can be done for fossil fuels too. Just leave the fossil fuels in the ground! Learn more here:  Access to clean air, potable water, and rich soil are human rights. All would be lost in a nuclear war or winter and in Climate cataclysm scenarios, as well. These are our existential challenges.  The Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty is a bold project to phase out fossil fuels. Behind our backs, banks and mutual funds and fossil fuel barons continue to invest their customer’s money in exploration, mining and refining. Research shows there are ample gas supplies to last at current consumption levels for years. Failing to manage the phase out of fossil fuels and continuing subsidize fossil fuels is insane. In the US alone at $20 billion per year hidden everywhere is our tax codes, according to Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), further the cost to human health is enormous, called negative externalities are the adverse environmental, climate and public health impacts of extraction emissions and burning of fossil fuels. In 2015 these cost $5.3 trillion globally. It’s a sad fact that should require parental supervision of some kind.

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