COP26 enables multilateralism and creates an important space for dialogue. It crucially puts together global agreements through which we can hold governments accountable and build global consensus. But as Greens we know that we are still far from closing the 2030 emissions gap and that it is not enough. We have yet to see concrete pathways for announced pledges. That’s why we will keep up the pressure for the implementation of these commitments in the next months and years.
In the words of Martin Ogindo, Party Leader, Green Congress of Kenya (GCK):
“We are a community of Greens who are holding the biggest responsibility on this planet because we are the custodians of the sustainability of this planet. It is a huge task for us. But I want to encourage you – each action counts. My best moment was joining the march and realising how loud our combined voices can be, and how concise our demands can be.”
As Greens, we may not have the majority, but we fight for climate ambition wherever we lead – whether at the city, regional or governmental level. We know that tackling the climate crisis requires daily efforts, and that every fraction of a degree of warming counts. Lorna Slater, Scottish Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, emphasised the power of local leaders in the climate fight:
“We don’t have to wait for Boris Johnson or Joe Biden to get together – all the cities, the American states, all the other non-state actors, we can leap ahead. They don’t have to be the limit of our ambition.”
Evelyne Huytebroeck, Co-Chair of the European Greens, also stated:
“On the local level, both big cities and rural municipalities, and the regional level have a role to play in the daily fight to address climate change. Ambitious policies are already put in place in some of them, especially ones ruled by the Greens. Green local decision-makers have shown their added-value by implemented policies in mobility, housing, energy, urban planning, waste and water management, agriculture, and education. These successes need to be shared and replicated as much as possible around the globe.”
We are also taking climate action back to the EU, where Green MEPs are pushing for a more sustainable and fair Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), working on adapting the EU Taxonomy (the rules for defining sustainable activities) to exclude gas and nuclear, and concretely advancing deforestation and nature files so that we can protect biodiversity.
Green leaders will continue the work outside of COP26 to end the fossil fuel era and make sure that we have a just transition to a fair and green future!