1 October 2021

COP26: We make tomorrow

Stuart Melvin of the COP26 Coalition explains how we can all play our part to make a just tomorrow

The climate emergency is here and now. People around the world are already hurting and dying from “natural” disasters, forced displacement, food shortages and more as a result of climate change. 

Climate change is an issue of inequality. The rich and powerful have caused climate change. The vast majority of emissions are caused by the top 10% and a handful of fossil fuel companies are directly responsible. But it’s low-income people, especially people in the global south, who are paying the price. And climate change will exacerbate existing inequalities and struggles. This is unacceptable.

Global problems need global solutions. We need a global “fair share” agreement that sees the countries that are historically responsible – including the UK – paying our fair share to support other countries. 

COP26 is coming to Glasgow in November. The UN’s COP global climate summits should be where governments make the necessary global agreements. But so far they have failed and with Boris at the helm it seems unlikely COP26 will deliver what is necessary. This will be a tragic missed opportunity.

Climate change is a worker issue

Working people in the UK have faced years of financial insecurity, lowering incomes and living standards. Climate change will make all of this worse, hitting workers hard. We also face massive change in every industry – especially but not only fossil fuel industries – and it is vital workers are not only protected but have a voice to lead and shape these changes.

That’s why trade unions need to be at the forefront of the climate justice movement to win a worker-led and just transition. We need every worker in a union, electing green reps and negotiating a transition that works for all.

COP26 Global Day of Action for Climate Justice

During COP26, the global civil society COP26 Coalition (https://cop26coalition.org/gda) – of which PCS is a member – is organising an alternative People’s Summit in Glasgow – featuring 100+ online and offline events and mobilising a global day of action for climate justice on 6 November. The day of action will see mass demonstrations take place in Glasgow, London, Belfast, Cardiff, Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Norfolk, Cambridge, Bristol and Brighton.

#WeMakeTomorrow trade union mobilisation

As a part of this, the COP26 Coalition Trade Union Caucus (https://wemaketomorrow.org) is mobilising a week of trade union and workers action, including events in Glasgow and in workplaces. But on 6 November Global Day of Action we aim to organise big, united and powerful trade union blocs on every regional demonstration. It’s vital the trade union movement is front and centre and this could be the biggest trade union climate mobilisation in the UK to date. But it will only happen if regional and branch officials and reps help to mobilise members.

Source URL: https://www.pcs.org.uk/news-events/blogs/cop26-we-make-tomorrow