Greenpeace Austria drew a sobering balance on Sunday halfway through the UN climate conference “COP26” and criticized the Austrian government in particular. The conference threatens to “become a pure blah blah blah” summit, the environmental organization spoke of “vague formulations” and “much too late exit dates”. Austria is not a role model: Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) traveled to the conference empty-handed.
Greenpeace asked Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler to “nail the nails” and to make “clear climate protection announcements”. A first important step was Austria’s accession to the next statement by the examined climate protection countries. Action must now follow. Greenpeace therefore called for “the national climate protection law to be put on track and mega-road construction projects such as the Lobau motorway to be stopped”.
According to Greenpeace, the global trade in CO2 certificates must be rejected. “This is a dead end and would destroy many climate protection efforts,” said the environmentalists. In addition, it is important to significantly increase the funds used to support developing countries and to anchor a clear commitment to the end of fossil fuels. The success of this year’s climate conference will also be measured by this.
Meanwhile, international environmental groups and development organizations demanded that rich countries drastically increase their climate aid for poor countries. Greenpeace boss Jennifer Morgan puts the financial needs of the less developed countries at several trillion. This is the only way for the global south to adapt to the fatal consequences of global warming, such as more and more droughts and floods, and also to reduce greenhouse gases that are harmful to the climate.
The Oxfam organization’s climate expert, Nafkote Dabi, blamed the industrialized countries as the originators of the climate crisis. Poor countries suffered the most. This injustice must be redressed. She also denounced ecological vandalism, especially by the “super-rich”, whose per capita emissions of greenhouse gases are far higher than the rest of humanity. Climate-damaging luxury should be highly taxed or prohibited.
Greenpeace climate expert Lisa Göldner accused the European Union of lacking leadership at the summit. She appealed to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to push ahead with phasing out coal, oil and gas. At the same time, she warned the approximately 200 in Scotland against a global offset trade for emissions from leading countries. This provided the industrialized countries with “another excuse” to delay the phase-out from fossil fuels.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, host of the meeting, is also calling for more ambition. In the first week, some specific announcements were made, for example to stop deforestation or to reduce the alternative greenhouse gas methane. “But we mustn’t underestimate the task of keeping the 1.5-degree goal alive.”