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Professor Kevin Anderson at COP26 in conversation with Nick Breeze
Home » Inside COP26Glasgow; is this the ambition needed to avert disaster?

Inside COP26Glasgow; is this the ambition needed to avert disaster?

Nick Breeze

Nick Breeze

Climate journalist and host of the ClimateGenn podcast.

In this episode of Shaping The Future, I am inside the COP attending talks and speaking mainly to scientists but also half-listening to the pledges and commitments being made. What is striking is the sense of foreboding from people who have followed these negotiations for many years. 


00:00 Intro by Nick Breeze

01:00 John Kerry speaking to C40 mayors

01:23 Professor Richard Bamba (excerpt)

02:09 Kevin Anderson discussing ‘inside the cop’

The noise of the globetrotting political class presents an image of absolute urgency and seemingly sincere desire to do something about it, however, the pledges being put forth, not only fall short of the level of action the science says we need, it also is non-binding.

‘Mission’ accomplished?

History has shown us that what is said at COP stays at COP. The fanfare and celebrations that many are seeking at the end may well and UK Prime Minister Johnson may well get his opportunity to smirk at the cameras and declare his mission accomplished. 

Ironically, the word ‘mission’ is attached to lots of initiatives in the climate action sphere but perhaps submission is a more worthy moniker, as the much vaunted ambition slumps into a commitment that will see ice sheets and glaciers succumb to rising temperatures in the atmosphere and the oceans. 

Eyes & ears on the science

Live from #COP26Glasgow

More interviews discussing the science will follow and serve as a brief intro into the reality that we are facing. If we don’t radically change direction then society will enter a phase of chaos and collapse in the face of destabilised weather and rapidly rising seas. What this may look like has been widely speculated and everyone has their own version of the nightmare to contemplate.

Who possesses the agency to act?

This being the case, now is the time to question the direction that our leaders and the powerful in society are taking us. Failure is not assured and the angry voices of people outside the COP are starting to be heard.

Currently, the politicians and the powerful control the narrative and possess the agency of divination but is anyone truly listening anymore? We have heard for decades, the promises that are founded on urgency and deception.

The agency that has been taken away from people in terms of a top-down ruling of society, with people clambering up the greasy pole to wag their fingers at those below, has now had its day.

Every one of us is in a position to contemplate the agency that we possess in our daily lives and in the communities we inhabit. It is essential now that we use that agency in whatever way we see fit to raise the level of real action to a point where apocalyptic visions of the near future can be consigned to fiction.

The full interview with Professor Jonathan Bamba among others will be published very shortly.

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