COP26 is one of the largest events in the history of mankind, it is an event about which there is a lot of expectation because it is during which the decisions to fight against will be made (or are supposed to be made).
But what we have seen and are seeing is that what has to be done is not being done, and I do not know that it is making the decisions that have to be made.
A clear example of this is that yesterday it was published in the news that there are around 500 representatives of fossil fuel companies protesting against all the measures that we have to take. And it is no surprise because they make money destroying the planet, and the lives of people and animals.
What we have seen this week in Scotland is that the pressure and that the real movement is happening outside cop26, outside the blue zone, and even outside the green zone.
The voices we need to hear weren’t inside. Representatives of indigenous communities, people who are already suffering the worst consequences of the climate crisis, were out.
One of the things that are being heard the most is that we need hope to continue fighting this. And it is heartbreaking to hear this because let does not kid ourselves, every time we say “hope is the last thing you lose” it is because we are on the edge of a situation.
And the problem is that human beings do not act when we should act, we are used to fixing things on the fly. We are not used to preventing certain situations because the world we live in goes at such an extreme speed that sometimes we are not even able to keep up with it.
And the point is that we cannot wait for the situation to get out of control to try to fix it with the problem in front of our eyes, because by then it will be too late. And absolutely nothing can be done.
Another factor that prevents us from seeing the reality of things is that our brains have a blocking mechanism where imagining something as egregious as the very concept of death or extinction makes us simply change our minds almost instantly. We are not able to imagine and at the same time our brains are not capable of processing something as terrible as human extinction itself, it makes us believe that it is something unreal, that it will not happen, or that when that moment arrives we will no longer be here to suffer it.
But even if that is true, there will always be other people who will have to face that moment. And it is our responsibility to them to prevent that from happening at all costs.
That is why saving our planet has been so difficult for many years, because the generations that were and are alive would not have to live the consequences.
The point is that now the generations of people who will have to live these consequences are being born, and are living, and are becoming young adults. Do you think Greta Thunberg’s frustration and anger come out of nowhere?
Imagine for just an instant that your parents give you a home to live in, a house, the house of your dreams. How cute no? But now imagine that that house you have dreamed of is on fire, it has leaks, it has asbestos and the wood is rotten, it barely stands on its own and is about to collapse …
I have two questions for you: do you want to live in that house? And if you are a father … do you want to give a house like this to your children? Well, that is exactly what we have done and continue to do.
COP26 is supposed to be the most important event because it is the one that is going to dictate how to save that house, that home and prevent it from collapsing.
But it just isn’t happening. It is the disaster that no one wants to face, and the disaster that no one wants to take responsibility for.
The fact that more than 500 representatives of fossil fuel companies are protesting at a conference in which precisely what is sought is to end them is an example of why such urgent issues as this are hardly discussed within COP26.
The Paris Outcome on Loss And Damage
The increase in the frequency and severity of weather disasters is impacting people in ways we have never seen before.
The estimated cost of these losses and damages in 2020 alone was $ 210 billion, which includes losses that cannot be paid for with money. It is estimated that it will be between one and two trillion by 2050. The funding available at this time is $0.
The most polluting countries and companies have a debt with the Global South and it should be a legal obligation to provide financial and technical assistance not subject to loan conditions. In addition, communities must receive it as soon as they suffer the impact.
Funding for “loss and damage” should be in addition to the $ 100 billion a year for “mitigation and adaptation,” which was pledged in 2009 to begin delivery in 2020, and has been delayed again.
In addition to all this, the affected communities should be in charge of managing the financing and resources, since they are the only ones who know the extent of the impact of losses and damages. Women and youth must be represented in these programs.
And finally, the emotional weight and psychological damage that these disasters have on the affected people must be taken into account.
This story was previously published on Medium.