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COP26 Glasgow: daily third sector briefing

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Amazon people visit Argyll

Indigenous people from the Amazon rainforest performed a sacred blessing ritual at a Scottish rainforest this week.    

The group from Association Jiboiana were in Scotland to attend COP26 in Glasgow but made a special trip to Cormonachan Community Woodlands in Argyll to visit and bless the rainforest.   

Following the ritual involving movement and chanting they met local people, politicians, climate activists and young people from Raleigh International’s Re:Green volunteering programme at Lochgoilhead Village Hall.    

Association Jiboiana President Léo Landon said: “Our main goal in Glasgow isn’t to speak to presidents and decision-makers as that has not worked in the past. We wish to address hundreds of thousands of world citizens about the role of indigenous peoples in the preservation of Nature. 

“We truly think indigenous wisdom, ancestral knowledge and cooperation with indigenous communities are paramount to answer the existential crises our industrial societies are facing. 

“By listening wholeheartedly and learning consciously from those who have been living in harmony with Nature for thousands of years, we might be able to transform ourselves, cultivate resilience - thus mitigating climate change. 

“We are convinced that great changes won’t come from the top but from the grassroots - meaning us, the people, activists, whistleblowers, and simple citizens.”  

Young people are our only hope

The world is burning and young people are the planet's only hope, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus told Glasgow Caledonian University's second COP26 Green Zone event yesterday.  

Young people set the agenda at the session as some of the University's most accomplished students from Glasgow, London, and New York quizzed an expert panel at Glasgow Science Centre. 

Social Innovation and Climate Justice examined how to combat climate change and injustice through social innovation and featured contributions from postgraduate students, researchers and alumni. 

Professor Yunus said: "We are on fire right now and we have very little time left. Glasgow is our last chance.   

"If we fail, our time is over on this planet. The fire is on and it will engulf everything. 

"Young people see things with fresh eyes and fresh minds. The people who are running things are steeped in old ideas. The younger generation must not fall into that trap. 

"We should invite them to take the lead and create a new world for all of us." 

Professor Yunus joined the panel, remotely, alongside GCU Principal Professor Pamela Gillies, climate justice expert Dr Michael Mikulewicz, Dr Olga Biosca, of the Yunus Centre, and Professor Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas, of GCU London, for the session at Glasgow Science Centre, hosted by the broadcaster Sally Magnusson. 

Stand with Afghan women

Afghan women in Scotland will this week urge COP26 leaders to “stand with the women of Afghanistan”. The activists, educators, mothers and workers represent the strength and power of Afghan women.

Within Afghanistan, women are bearing the brunt of the repressive and abusive Taliban, with their access to schooling and further education, freedom of movement, access to employment and basic human rights all seriously restricted. 

The Women’s Empowerment Project run by Glasgow Afghan United (GAU) will protests in their adopted city this week and demand the international community hears their call.

Khalida Bostani said: “If we are to find climate solutions, women must be free to contribute. COP26 leaders must send a message to the Taliban and around the world – women demand their human rights and full participation.”

City politicians are expected to attend and speak at the event.

Bostani continued: “The Women’s Empowerment Project sends the following message to the COP26 leaders: “Climate change is a feminist issue. Cop26 must have a feminist agenda. Leaders of the world’s nations, stand with us, the women of Afghanistan. Defend our rights, raise our voices, protect our children. Share our call for justice in every part of the world.

“We oppose the Taliban; we oppose the illegitimate rule of men who would strip women of their rights and deny our world the female scientists, innovators, activists and policymakers we urgently need to find solutions to the climate crisis.”

Rich nations running away from responsibility

Dorothy Guerrero, head of policy at Global Justice Now, has accused rich countries of “sidestepping culpability” and creating the climate crisis.

"A minority of wealthy countries and corporations are responsible for the climate crisis, yet the worst impacts and costs fall predominantly on the global south, often creating or worsening debt crises in the process,” she told COP26 in Glasgow.

“For the same rich nations to still be stalling on paying up what they owe is sidestepping culpability for the crisis.

"Climate debt reparations, including grant-based finance for adaptation and loss and damage, have been long term demands from the global south which have been routinely watered down or ignored completely by rich nations. This finance must be at the heart of any just, equitable and effective action on climate change. 

"The UK’s approach to climate finance needs to cover past, current and future emissions, instead of short-term economic interest. The British government alone should be giving $46 billion a year, with at least half going to adaptation, to account for its fair share of historic emissions.”

Cambo oilfield a disaster for marine life

The proposed Cambo oil field project could jeopardise hundreds of species and contribute to the climate crisis, environmental groups have warned.

Environmentalists said pipelines would cut through the Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt, a UK Marine Protected Area.

The warning comes amid controversy over whether the project, thought to contain hundreds of millions of barrels of oil, should get the go-ahead.

The UK government said an environmental impact assessment would be carried out.

The Cambo oil field is situated approximately 125km (75 miles) to the west of the Shetland Islands in water depths of between 1,050m (3,445ft) and 1,100m (3,609ft).

Sixteen marine protection and climate groups - including Greenpeace UK, WWF UK, the Marine Conservation Society and Friends of the Earth Scotland - have written to the offshore oil and gas environmental regulator, Opred, asking it to include marine impacts when assessing the Cambo drilling application.

They raised concerns about the likely impacts the pipelines would have on the seabed, on hundreds of marine species and on the local fishing industry, and underline the devastation that an oil spill in the area would cause.