The climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, is ending in disappointment and more criticism.
For the past two years, the world has been seeing more vivid consequences of climate change, forcing world leaders to pay attention to it. Yet, two weeks of negotiations have passed, and activists see more issues and feel unconsoled by their efforts.
“It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure,” said famous Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg. “Net zero, blah, blah, blah. Climate neutral, blah, blah, blah. This is all we hear from our so-called leaders—words, words that sound great but so far, has led to no action or hopes and dreams. Empty words and promises.”
Steven Groves of The Federalist could not agree more. Writing in an op-ed, he noted that even the head of the world’s most polluting country, China’s Xi Jinping, did not show up.
Additionally, he argued U.S. President Joe Biden was making the same mistake as Barack Obama who introduced regulations that did not take into account what the American people would think. Eventually, his plan was thwarted due to legal challenges.
“American progressives drone on and on about U.S. image around the world, but don’t blink when their favored presidents make international promises they can’t keep,” Groves wrote, noting that Donald Trump knew the plan was too surreal. So he withdrew from Obama’s Paris Agreement during his tenure.
Climate activists arriving at Glasgow are repeating the same disappointment.
“Yesterday I was talking with Indigenous people from Brazil and they were just being like ‘they are literally discussing what to do with our lands, without us being there’, so this is really exclusive,'” an activist told The Guardian.
Others were more positive that leaders are at least working together and climate change is not an instant issue. Yet, there is still one giant elephant in the room—human rights abuses.
China, the number one world pollution emitter, has been making its brutal genocide practices against minority and religious groups a ransom for cooperation in environmental deals.
Despite President Xi’s disappointing absence at the COP26 talk, the U.S. and China made a surprise joint pledge to share technology to limit CO2 emissions on Wednesday, Nov. 10, the Washington Post reported.
Last May, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry was explicit in saying it would be “stupid and malpractice” to trust the Chinese Communist Party. However, he evaded addressing what went behind the negotiations at COP26 when China pressed on the issue.
“That’s not my lane here,” he said. “… My job is to be the climate guy and stay focused on trying to move the climate agenda forward.”
President Joe Biden is set to have another virtual discussion with China’s Xi next Monday about tensions over Taiwan, trade, human rights, and other problems, per the Washington Post. However, it remains to see whether the U.S. would recoil from empty climate promises made by China.