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COP26 delegates, activists, and event workers explain how they feel about the last two weeks of negotiations

COP26 delegates, activists, and event workers explain how they feel about the last two weeks of negotiations
COP26 delegates, activists, and event workers explain how they feel about the last two weeks of negotiations
Climate financing remains a sticking point, and many from the global south and indigenous communities continue to feel underrepresented.
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  • COP26 delegates, activists, and event workers explain how they feel about the last two weeks of negotiations. 
  • Climate financing remains a sticking point, and many from the global south and indigenous communities continue to feel underrepresented. 
  • However, some negotiators and delegates feel hopeful, saying the opportunity has been one for learning, and progress has been made.

On Friday, November 12, COP26 negotiations entered their last official day in Glasgow, and officials wrapped up the final drafting of the summit's texts. Attendees of the event, workers, and those stationed outside, expressed their thoughts on how much the summit has actually achieved.

Ta’Kiya Blaney Chegajimixw, Tla’amin Nation Canada, Environmental Activist
Ta'Kiya is attending COP26 to advocate for her grandparents and indigenous peoples from the Tla’amin Nation in CanadaParisa Hashempour

Ta'Kiya Blaney Chegajimixw, Tla'amin Nation Canada, Environmental Activist

What they are doing at COP26: Advocating for her grandparents and indigenous peoples from the Tla'amin Nation in Canada

"I've been inside these spaces since I was eight. Back then, I ripped up the COP declaration, and I will rip up today's. Nothing has changed inside this space; it is a performance; it's an illusion; it's for convincing the public that something is happening. The climate agreements are actually trade agreements. It's a way of salvaging global economies based upon colonialism and the extraction of our territories without interrupting them."

"I came here to expose Canada for the truth of what they're doing, which is raping our lands, arresting our people for protecting our lands, taking indigenous children out of their homes. Still assimilating and actively erasing our culture and then trying to position itself as a climate leader. Our rivers are being gated off for pipelines to root themselves in our territories and provide an energy corridor for further extractive industries. There is a complete dissonance between climate agreements and the Canadian political leaders actions."

Azrael*, Indonesia, Student

What they are doing at COP26: Working as catering staff

"We are using a lot of plastic and non-biodegradable packaging, which is a bit hypocritical in my opinion. We give the guests wooden forks, but the packaging we have for those forks is plastic. That packaging is hidden from the view of the customers. Then we promised we would recycle all the food, but we just throw it in the bin. I'm very worried about climate change, but I guess the food sector doesn't actually affect the outcome of the conference or what they are all talking about. I just hope for the best."

A COP26 spokesperson said the menu was designed to ensure food waste is kept to a minimum, with the aim of having less than 1% food waste from the event. "Where there is surplus in relation to non-perishable food, the SEC will provide this to both Fareshare and also Launch Food Children's charity," they said.

* Pseudonym to protect the speaker's identity.

Mokoena France, Lesotho, Meteorologist
Mokoena France, a meteorologist, is negotiating on behalf of Lesotho.Parisa Hashempour

Mokoena France, Lesotho, Meteorologist
What they are doing at COP: Negotiating on behalf of Lesotho

"We have made a lot of progress, although there are still a lot of important issues that have not been agreed upon. Crucially, finance and technology, as well as Article 6. I am hopeful, though. We still have a bit of time until the final document is submitted. Ideally, by the end of the day when the closing ceremony starts, we will come to decisions on those final points."

Jim Bowen, Wales, Managing Director of Clynfyw Care Farm
Jim Bowen, Wales, Managing Director of Clynfyw Care FarmParisa Hashempour

Jim Bowen, Wales, Managing Director of Clynfyw Care Farm
What they are doing at COP26: Protesting outside the venue

"COP26 has been business as usual. Having JPMorgan and other, similar organizations funding stands inside means it was always going to be a greenwash. What's exciting is what's been happening outside, with different groups around the world coming together, sharing experiences, sharing information about the challenges they've faced, and how they've built resilience. That's where the hope lies. We've got disasters coming, but community resilience is being built now for a better future. We've been failed by our leaders, and we need our grassroots organizations to work together. It's in the grassroots that there's hope. There is no hope from the leadership."

Pius Agaji Oko, Nigeria, Project Manager of Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria
Pius Agaji Oko, Nigeria, Project Manager of Climate and Sustainable Development Network of NigeriaParisa Hashempour

Pius Agaji Oko, Nigeria, Project Manager of Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria
What they are doing at COP26: Presenting the voices of those vulnerable to climate change in Nigeria

"The more COPs we have, the more issues pile up. The environment will not wait for us. The erratic rainfalls, the droughts, won't wait. What we are clamoring for here is not on the table. Rural people in Nigeria contribute little to climate change but will suffer the most. These people need the utmost care. They need finance to cope or to transition into alternative livelihoods, but the major decisions at COP26 are mostly coming out of the private sector surrounding net-zero. Issues of investment, businesses, and loans are not touching our reality. We hope that, at the last moment, COP will deliver, and listen to the voices that need to be heard."

Ji-an*, South Korea, Economics Student
What they are doing at COP26: Working as a translator

"It's really inspiring to meet so many people who have all come here to protect our planet. I'm glad all countries are trying to participate in the process, but on the other hand, China and India don't have official pavilions here. I had hoped they could be a part of the conference in that way. But hopefully next year things will be better, and we'll have more participants coming together."

* Pseudonym to protect the speaker's identity.

Nada Abdelaziz Babikir Mohamed, Sudan, Member of the High Council for Environment, Urban and Rural Promotion, Khartoum Estate
Nada Abdelaziz Babikir Mohamed, Sudan, Member of the High Council for Environment, Urban and Rural Promotion, Khartoum EstateParisa Hashempour

Nada Abdelaziz Babikir Mohamed, Sudan, Member of the High Council for Environment, Urban and Rural Promotion, Khartoum Estate
What they are doing at COP26: Assisting negotiators

"The conference has been informative. Through hearing about projects other countries have undertaken to adapt to climate change, we've received details of many ways we can mitigate the effects of climate change in Sudan, ways to reduce carbon dioxide levels. Some areas in Sudan are uninhabitable, with little groundwater and no agriculture. In the future, In sha'Allah, we will get the funding to make similar schemes to reduce climate change in certain areas, but this is the first step."

Yakubu Sini, Nigeria, Developing and Evaluating Interventions Student
What they are doing at COP26: Working as technical personnel to keep the venue clean, and assisting attendees with directions

"The conference is good! As I'm working, I look around me and I see active participation, I see passion, I can see people are committed to this. I just hope there are active frameworks with milestones so that it's not just another annual event with all talk and no action. I really want to see drastic action being taken by multinationals in different countries, and especially want to see clear action for Nigeria."

Saxon Bosworth and Nicolas Bergounioux, England and Biarritz, Documentary Filmmakers
Saxon Bosworth and Nicolas Bergounioux, England and Biarritz, Documentary Filmmakers.Parisa Hashempour

Saxon Bosworth and Nicolas Bergounioux, England and Biarritz, Documentary Filmmakers
What they are doing at COP26: Interviewing attendees for their upcoming documentary, Mission: Find Aral

Nicolas: "Optimism is key for being successful here. This is my first COP, so perhaps I have an innocent way of seeing it, but we've met so many people working at the grassroots level in their own countries, and there is so much collaboration. All the countries of Central Asia came together in one booth, under 'one region, one voice', and pacific islands have done this too."

Saxon: "They're hoping to address the pledges made now by the end of next year, which is disappointing. It's strange to think there will be another COP before pledges are acted upon. But it is what you make of a situation. By speaking to people and soaking up different stories, we gain global insights into different topics. I would hope this mixing of people, outside the negotiation rooms, will enable collaborative work and bring about positive changes — the summit is a mosaic of different possibilities."

* Pseudonym to protect the speaker's identity.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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