‘My colleagues have been blocked’: COP26 is shutting civil society out of climate talks

NGOs, Indigenous leaders, and climate activists are allowed into COP, but many are being barred from observing climate talks.

Why It Matters

Indigenous resistance to fossil fuel projects may have cut Canadian and U.S. emissions by 25 to 50 percent, according to a recent study. Civil society also plays a role in climate adaptation and mitigation. Yet, at COP26, Indigenous and civil society leaders are being ignored.

Eddy Pérez, the international climate diplomacy manager at Climate Action Network Canada, didn’t want COP26 to happen this year. 

Climate Action Network Canada, and the other 1,500 civil society organizations that comprise Climate Action Network International, believe holding the world’s most important climate summit in Glasgow during a global pandemic is irresponsible. Attendees from all over the planet, including the Global South, are mingling in a venue together at a time when access to COVID-19 vaccines is far from equitable. 

But the requests of Climate Action Network International to delay COP26 went unheeded — and Pérez and more than 100 other members of Climate Action Network Canada flew to Scotland anyways. “We came here because we understand how critical it is,” he says of COP26. 

Tens of thousands of delegates are at COP26 to negotiate n

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