The last few days have been a nightmare for anyone who tries to keep up with British politics. With leaders elected, cabinet shuffles and the 24 hour news cycle moving at breakneck speed, it’s completely understandable if you missed a pretty big announcement:
Claire Perry will be the COP26 President!
The UK government has been desperate to hold the COP, the huge UN international climate negotiations, for years in an attempt to show themselves as ‘climate leaders’. Now that we’re confirmed to co-host the negotiations at the end of 2020, it was time to pick a COP President.
The Presidency has incredible influence over the direction of the COP and can really push nations to be more ambitious in their aims. With young people marching in the streets to push for better climate policy, the appointment of Claire Perry is a massive kick in the teeth. Claire Perry, formerly the Energy and Clean Growth Minister, has:
Tried to fast-track fracking plans against the wishes of frontline communities, claiming it will “help us with our continued transition to a lower-carbon economy.”
Met with HUGE polluters INEOS, Shell and Cuadrilla and didn’t put it on the official transparency register. The minutes were only released after a Freedom of Information request!!! Meanwhile grassroots community groups were constantly reaching out to stop the destruction of their areas and the world at large but her schedule was “too full”.
Repeatedly refused to meet with youth, only backing down when Extinction Rebellion protesters interrupted her propaganda event at COP24. Their follow up meeting was cancelled due to her “heavily committed” schedule.
COP26 is the most important COP since the Paris Agreement was negotiated in 2015. After five years of agreeing the exact rules and progress measurements, it’s finally moving into the implementation phase. That means it’s time for climate ACTION.
What example is Britain setting for the world when we put someone like Claire ‘Gas is a transition fuel’ Perry in the drivers seat?
It’s a bleak picture, but holding the negotiations in the UK is an enormous opportunity for us!
We can push Claire Perry and her team to be more ambitious every single day in the run up. And we will.
We can push the COP Presidency to take the youth voices more seriously than any COP has before. And we will.
We can push the UK government to finally abandon the idea that gas is a transition fuel and fight for our future. And we will.
To your battle stations! Let’s go!
Join us on September 20th for the largest climate mobilisation in British history. It’s going to be a big one, and by the looks of things, it looks like it needs to be.