This is an English translation of this article on PSM’s sosialis.net blog. The translation is by Cheong Huei Ting
On the 6th of November, world leaders met in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, for the COP26 Global Climate Conference. On the very same day, the streets of Glasgow were filled with an estimated 100,000 protesters expressing their anger towards these politicians for failing to address the climate crisis effectively.
This was the largest protest during the COP26 conference held to date and is also the largest mass action in Glasgow since the anti-Iraq War protests in 2003. Additionally, more than 200 protests were held worldwide throughout the COP26 conference, including Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Indonesia, Kenya, South Korea, France and others, as a part of the “World Day of Action for Climate Justice” mobilisation. The COP26 coalition, a civil society coalition that mobilised for climate justice in the conference, hosted an online and face-to-face “People’s Summit” from the 7th to the 10th of November. The summit aimed to gather voices from climate justice movements worldwide to centre the people’s agenda to resolve the climate crisis without corporate influence.
During the street protests in Glasgow, the police detained 21 scientists who chained themselves together to block the bridge crossing on River Clyde.
Street protests reflected citizens’ outrage towards the failure of world leaders and politicians — particularly politicians of the global North in taking effective measures to mitigate the climate crisis that poses a risk to humankind’s well being. The people urge world leaders to display their political will to take the necessary actions to avoid a climate catastrophe that threatens our existence.
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, began in Glasgow on the 31st of October and ended on the 12th of November. Initially scheduled for 2020, the conference was postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference gathered politicians and national leaders that are signatories of the “United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change” (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, to commit and outline actions that need to be carried out by their respective governments to deal with the climate crisis. However, since the United Nations Climate Change Conference began in 1995, most governments have not taken effective and adequate action to address the climate crisis. Instead, they colluded with profit-oriented corporations and hid behind greenwashing (pretending to protect the environment) “solutions” and continued business practices at the expense of our people and planet. While many people are pinning their hopes on world leaders to show more commitment at the COP26 conference, corporations — especially large polluting industries — still strongly influence the policies of pro-capitalist governments.
Findings after findings by scientists worldwide provide clear evidence that humanity is facing a “code red” threat which is bound to be followed by devastating climate disasters if no concrete actions are taken to stop the rise of global temperature by reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere significantly. Voices from society calling for systemic change to save humanity from the looming threat of the climate crisis are becoming louder. In recent years, we have witnessed the resurgence of climate justice movements led by young people globally. There is no habitable environment for future generations on this earth if we do not take action to curb the climate crisis today.
The global climate crisis that threatens the existence of mankind is primarily related to the destructive capitalist socio-economic system. The system exploits the labour of the masses, plunders the earth’s natural resources to generate profits for a handful of corporate executives. The only solution to stop the climate crisis is a total overhaul of the current socio-economic capitalist system, with the involvement of marginalised communities that are most affected by this crisis. The struggle for climate justice must also be an anti-capitalist struggle that requires mobilising the collective effort of the masses.
Choo Chon Kai
Head of the International Bureau
Parti Sosialis Malaysia