Cop26: Local civil society must be involved in climate discussions

2 Nov, 2021

Update – 15th November 2021:

Too little too late.

Whilst we welcome elements of the final COP26 agreement and the progress that has been made, it falls short of what the world’s most marginalised people need. Ultimately, climate injustice equals social and economic injustice for the world’s poorest. We need a commitment to phasing out all fossil fuels, not just coal; and for the world’s richest nations to commit to reparations for poorer countries, not loans. If we are to stand a chance of keeping to the Paris 1.5 degree target, more must be done. With this in mind, we are calling for the current deal to be delivered on with more urgency and with more equity to deliver a brighter future for all.

At Family for Every Child, we work for a world in which children can survive and thrive. Given the disproportionate impact of climate change upon future generations, including today’s children, it is therefore core to our mission that we work to ensure that the local civil society actors that form our global alliance are able to participate fully in climate change mitigation and reversal; enabling their often-marginalised voices to share their unique insight into what needs to be done to protect local, regional and national environments. As the United Nations Cop26 climate change summit takes place in Glasgow, we urge decision-makers to take steps to include these local civil society actors.

The climate crisis is a child rights crisis and a social justice crisis as well as an environmental one. Aa recent analysis by UNICEF which estimated the number of children exposed to each of the various environmental hazards, shocks and stresses globally found that not only are hundreds of millions of children exposed to each of the hazards, but 2.2 billion children are exposed to at least two of them, and 330 million are exposed to five [1]. Additionally, according to one report, between 1990- 2015, the poorest 50% of the world’s population were responsible for just 7% of global cumulative greenhouse gas emissions, whereas the richest 10% were responsible for 52% of emissions [2].

Family for Every Child therefore welcomes the involvement of developing nations in climate discussions, such as the role of the Marshall Islands in the creation of the High Ambition Coalition for halting temperature rises. Nevertheless, we are concerned to hear of the exclusion of frontline communities affected in many countries. Local civil society organisations working with children and families are often the best-placed to advise on decisions around climate change that affect those they work with closely, and as such we call for a concerted effort by all parties to take concrete steps towards their inclusion.

We have started our Environment project group in order to draw on the front-line wisdom of our local civil society organisations in order to call for positive change for children and families everywhere. We invite those involved in tackling climate change to contact us to learn more about how we our alliance can collaborate to bring this wisdom to the fore.





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