Climate Change

1 December 2021Review

Transnational Institute, 2021; 37pp; free, available at tinyurl.com/peacenews3696

The vast carbon emissions produced by the military are coming under increasing scrutiny. The UK ministry of defence (MoD) published a strategy on climate change earlier this year, outlining how it will reduce the carbon impact of 'defence' up to 2050. 

However, there will still be no external or independent scrutiny of greenhouse gases produced by the military, as COP26 failed to ensure that they will be included in emissions targets.

Emissions are only one issue in terms of…

1 December 2021Feature

What would a globally just transition mean in practice?

Rather than setting somewhat unreal targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in several decades’ time, shouldn’t we be looking at the practicalities and ethics of shutting down the extraction and use of fossil fuels as soon as possible?

That’s the subject of a major report released during COP26 by Civil Society Review, an international coalition of social movements, environmental and development NGOs, trade unions, faith and other civil society groups.

The report is called…

1 December 2021Feature

Eight activists assess the events in Glasgow

Saleemul Huq, Bangladesh:

As far as I’m concerned, it is a failure. Absolute failure.... It’s a death sentence for the poorest people on the planet.

And not only that, the polluters are saying: ‘To hell with you, we don’t care, we’re not going to give you a penny.’

… We’re not giving up, but we are describing this COP as an abject failure because it hasn’t been able to rise to the occasion of dealing with loss and damage.

It doesn’t matter what else they do. That…

1 December 2021Feature

Four COP26 speeches by figures from the Most Affected People's Areas

‘Climate change is the crisis of our time. Its intensifying impacts are affecting millions of people around the world, the health of our planet, and it is driving species extinction. It is disproportionately affecting the people and communities globally who have contributed the least to creating this planetary emergency.’

Those are the opening words of ‘the People’s Demands for Climate Justice’, a statement issued in 2018 by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. (The Global…

1 December 2021News

PN surveys 13 days of action at the UN climate summit

This is a small sample of what happened in Glasgow during the COP26 climate talks! Almost all these events were organised by the COP26 Coalition, a UK-based climate justice coalition bringing together environment and development NGOs, trade unions, grassroots community campaigns, faith groups, youth groups, migrant and racial justice networks and more. Behind the scenes, the coalition also: ran a visa support service; mobilised people across Scotland to open their homes for a Homestay…

1 December 2021News

800 arrests and counting in insulation campaign

124 climate activists were arrested for blockading bridges in Central London on 20 November. They were acting in solidarity with nine members of ‘Insulate Britain’, who had been imprisoned by the high court in London on 17 November for contempt of court.

The ‘Highway 9’ had all continued to blockade the M25 after injunctions were issued banning obstruction of that motorway or any other major road in England.

It is believed the authorities had delayed the hearing in order to…

1 December 2021Comment

You may not know this, but there was a whole 14-paragraph section of the Glasgow agreement dealing with climate-related ‘loss and damage’.

The Guardian reported that this was ‘perhaps the most bitterly fought section of all’.

The phrase ‘loss and damage’ first appeared when the original UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was being drawn up in 1991.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) asked for an international insurance pool to be created to ‘…

1 December 2021Feature

Western propaganda scored a victory at the end of the COP26 climate talks

India was not the climate villain of COP26.

Far from claiming the right to use coal endlessly, India apparently proposed in Glasgow that there should be a global plan for phasing its use down – as long as that was part of a bigger plan for all fossil fuels be phased out, in a just way.

There are two important aspects there: there has to be a plan for dealing with all fossil fuels and they have to be phased out in a just way.

The Glasgow summit in…

1 October 2021Feature

Unfair training costs make a Just Transition harder for oil and gas workers

Workers across the oil, gas, wind and decommissioning industries strongly support the idea of an ‘offshore passport’ that would allow them to easily transfer their skills and experience between sectors, a survey shows.

Respondents to a poll reported they are currently forced to pay out thousands of pounds of their own money for training courses before being hired, with no guarantee of work, and are routinely having to repeat training they have already done.

These barriers…

1 October 2021News

XR Scotland issues guidelines for Glasgow climate protests

XR Scotland is asking all XR rebels coming to COP26 from outside Scotland to live by a ‘Rebel Agreement’. Here are three of the five points:

1) ‘We will be led by, listen to, learn from, and consult with communities at the front lines of the climate and ecological crisis: those who bear the least responsibility and suffer the greatest consequences, including Indigenous peoples, vulnerable nations of the Global South, and young people everywhere.
  4) ‘We will consider the impact…

1 October 2021News

Paralympian jailed for airport action

On 24 September, Paralympic gold medallist James Brown, 56, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for an Extinction Rebellion (XR) action at London City Airport during XR’s October 2019 ‘Rebellion’.

This first custodial sentence for an XR action was imposed for the offence of causing ‘a public nuisance’.

Alanna Byrne, of Extinction Rebellion UK, said: ‘We are shocked and devastated by this news.’

Human rights activist Peter Tatchell tweeted: ‘It’s an excessively harsh…

1 October 2021News

What you need to know if you're heading to COP26

Most of us aren’t going to COP26, but for those who are thinking about it, here’s some information that may be useful.

Walking to Glasgow

A+E (an eco-art group based at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh) are organising a Pilgrimage for COP26, ‘a walk and a learning journey’, from Dunbar to Glasgow from 17 – 31 October. Participating organisations include: Deep Time Walk Project; Interfaith Edinburgh, Glasgow and Scotland; John Muir’s Birthplace; North Light Arts and…

1 October 2021News

PN surveys a variety of ways that you can take action in the run up to this November's Climate Summit

Whether or not you’re going to Glasgow, here are some actions you can take for climate justice this year.

You can join or set up a COP26 Coalition local hub (see p1) and take action on 6 November: cop26coalition.org There are #DefundClimateChaos protests on 29 October, mostly in London at the time of going to press: defundclimatechaos.uk You – and your group – can sign this petition asking COP26 to…

1 October 2021News

Fortnight of protests against fossil fuel investments

At the end of August, the climate action group Extinction Rebellion (XR) struck a new note, politically, when it began its latest two-week ‘rebellion’ in London. It put a much more achievable demand at the centre of its protests: the UK government must stop all new fossil fuel investment immediately.

The actions mostly focused on disrupting the heart of finance in the UK, the City of London, though there were also occupations of the Science Museum, Oxford Circus, and (in Woking) the…

1 October 2021News

Britain's coastal military nuclear infrastructure 'profoundly vulnerable to flooding'

Climate change could flood Faslane naval base, home to Britain’s Trident nuclear missile submarine force. That’s one conclusion of Climate Impact – UK Nuclear Military, a report released in September by the independent research institute, the Nuclear Consulting Group (NCG).

Climate Impact says that; ‘Present UK coastal military nuclear infrastructure is profoundly vulnerable to flooding from sea-level rise, storm intensity and storm surge – with inland nuclear…