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What young climate activists expect from COP26

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What young climate activists expect from COP26

Noga Levy-Rapoport, 19, is a youth climate activist and campaigner. They organised the global school climate strikes and continues to push for youth empowerment and transformative change in the face of the climate crisis. 

COP26 is our best last chance

COP26, the all-important UN climate summit taking place in Glasgow in just a matter of days, is the event of the century. If it all goes wrong, this century on Earth could well be our last as we know it. Even by the end of this decade, the world will have changed forever.

That is, if global leaders attending continue to be hellbent on fossil fuel extraction and the destruction of our environment. Future generations will not forgive us if we let them. They will not forgive us if we abandon our duty to pressure COP delegates to act, to commit each other to saving the only planet we have.

Young people like myself have been watching our governments and international systems prioritise profit and fossil fuels over our livelihoods. Over our dreams of equity and justice. Social inequality is rampant. Global reliance on extraction and exploitation is appalling in its ubiquity. The climate crisis is leaving its wake a widening divide between equitable sustainability and devastation that is seemingly impossible to bridge.


The actions we desperately need to see from COP26

So as COP unfolds, we have laid out our plans – the action we desperately need to see. It begins with:

  • institutions no longer platforming the CEOs of Shell.
  • ensuring the UK Government commit to #StopCambo.
  • an urgent Just Transition that delivers on creating well-paid and secure jobs, within sustainable industries and renewable energy sectors, so that no one is left behind in the move to a decarbonised future.
  • international systemic change, with the ecological emergency moving to the top of our national agenda.
  • a global understanding that when the climate crisis is borne of extractivism, and the unsustainable and unjust distribution and usage of our resources, it is indubitably tied to social issues of equity. That is, to period poverty, to low-paid jobs, to lack of green air, nutrition, and water for so many marginalised communities, to the shocking state of our public infrastructure and welfare.

Youth climate activists are looking for results at COP that recognise how truly global the climate crisis is. Results that recognise how it permeates every political and socio-economic issue. The solution our leaders deliver must embrace this challenge and recognise both its complexity and urgency.


There is every chance that COP26 will fail…

There is every single chance that COP26 will fail miserably. That our politicians will let us down, that our leaders will cast us and our demands aside. That the voices and actions of an entire generation, an entire planet, will be kicked to the curb in a series of cruelly drawn-out negotiations, meetings, and talks that are nothing more than a puppet show.

There is every likelihood that we are just watching the shadows of government and corporate delegates laughing to each other, sneering at our efforts to save our world, rather than coming together in good faith to take urgent action and do everything to decarbonise.

…But there are millions of us – young and old – who are fighting back

But for every merciless fossil fuel executive, for every servile politician, there are millions of us – young and old – who are fighting back. Our determination extends beyond the uncertain halls of COP26. Even after we leave the streets of Glasgow, our footsteps will have carved out a legacy.

We will have shown, and we will continue to show, that young climate activists are willing to unite every community across the globe in order to make ourselves heard. And to keep pushing forward the action necessary to resolve the climate emergency.

Ecological devastation is not inevitable. There is every single change that COP26 will fail, but there is also every chance that we will succeed. That we will live in that beautifully imagined world, where consumption is for necessities and communal enjoyment. Where the products we buy and exchange have had care for the natural world instilled in them. Where the absolute dominance of fossil fuel corporations over our energy, employment, and environment comes to a final close. And where both people and planet can finally thrive.


Mooncup at COP26

Ginny, from our Marketing Team, will be heading to Glasgow for COP26, so give us a follow on Instagram at @mooncupltd to keep up-to-speed with all the action. We will be sharing news from the event, as well as some environmental facts, tips on content to watch and read, people to follow, and much more… See you there!

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