My confident prediction (for the up-coming climate conference, COP26) is that at least one national paper will use the above headline on the last day of the conference on Nov 12th. If the final outcome is a bit of a fudge then maybe we’ll also get “COP out” whilst, if things go badly, we may end up with “not much COP”. The Sun will, of course, go with “COP off” regardless of what happens.
Hopefully, though, COP26 will see the world’s nations providing updated NDCs (their plans for emissions reductions over coming decades) and a clear agreement on how to monitor progress. So good COP, I hope!
From CCL’s point of view the real work will start after that. Our flagship policy, of carbon fee and dividend (CF&D), is the most economically-efficient way for nations to achieve their NDC-objectives in a just and equitable way. I think our mission, over the months leading up to COP26, should be to try and get CF&D onto the agenda as the tool for turning good-COP-intentions into significant climate progress.
So how do we do that?
We need to be there and we need to prepare the ground. CCL will be there in the shape of Citizens Climate Education which has recognized observer status and should allow, perhaps, 5-10 CCL members from around the world to go. In addition, I’ve contacted the Cabinet Office (who are running the UK organization of COP) to request that we are given additional access as a UK-based NGO. I’ll let you all know if/when I hear anything.
Our Glasgow-based members can also attend as volunteers. Go to https://ukcop26.org/the-conference/get-involved/ and take a look. This is an excellent way to get a few more CCL members involved and a great opportunity to be part of an historically important event.
To prepare the ground, it will help to have a clear, simple “ask”—a short statement of what we’re looking for. What we’re looking for, of course, is widespread adoption of CF&D but, as I’m sure many of you have found out, getting across all the finer points of this policy is not straight-forward. Can we engage with others better by asking something simpler? Something like “can we make it cheaper to not pollute than it is to pollute?”
I’m sure many of you won’t like that; it cuts out too much of what matters to us. But we have hundreds of members and I’m certain than someone out there can do better. So, I’d like to kick off COP-preparation with a competition. Send suggestions of what our “ask” should be. Just write it in the comment box below. If you can do that by Feb 15th that would be great. I’ll then read out the best ones at our next national meeting on Feb 16th.