The Rocky Road of Hope

If, like me, you have followed the emergent trail of headlines and commentary post COP27 you may be forgiven for feeling more than a little disheartened and left with any sense of hope hanging by a thread.

The world could still, theoretically, meet its goal of keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, a level many scientists consider a dangerous threshold. Realistically, that’s unlikely to happen.

Peter Schlosser in The Conversation

Despite the general air of gloom there was some good news; the “loss and damage fund” gave a long awaited sense of Climate Justice to the nations in the front line of the Climate Emergency. Although even this may provide a false hope if the underlying causes of Climate Change are not given urgent attention.

In the end, if all fossil fuels are not rapidly phased out no amount of money will be able to cover the cost of the resulting loss and damage. It is that simple. When your bathtub is overflowing you turn off the taps, you don’t wait a while and then go out and buy a bigger mop.”

Yeb Saño, head of Greenpeace’s COP delegation in Positive News

So are the UN COPs a waste of time? Should we all give up on the idea that we can make any progress in terms of dealing with the global addiction to fossil fuels? No, absolutely not! Now is the time to double down and look at every possible means for effecting change. If we look more closely at what happened at COP27 there are signs that the commitment is there, that there are countries willing to take the first steps forward.

The COP27 outcome is a timely reminder that curbing the growth in fossil fuels will not come about through consensus-oriented negotiations among governments that include those corrupted by the fossil fuel industry. It will require social movements pressuring leaders to legislate a managed phase out of fossil fuels, while ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities. And it will require pioneering governments to work together internationally to forge new alliances that accelerate this goal.

Fergus Green and Harro van Asselt in The Conversation

“But what about the Fossil fuel lobby?” I hear you ask. Certainly based on how things played out at COP27 they seem all powerful. Especially at the moment in the midst of an energy crisis they appear to have a lot of sway.

But the COP process must change if we are to really make headway in fighting the climate crisis. With over 600 fossil fuel lobbyists patrolling the halls and striking deals on the side for new projects, and even the BP chief executive listed as a country delegate sitting in negotiations, this was like inviting arsonists to a firefighting convention.”

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, in Positive News

But the Fossil Fuel lobby’s influence stems from money, if they have less money they will have less power. There is much that can be done both through taxation and through divestment that will reduce that influence and help to shift attention to more viable, climate friendly alternatives. We all have a role in making that happen, we need to stiffen our resolve (and our shoes) and be willing to walk together on the rocky road of hope.

If you would like to find out more about how you can take steps towards a better future have a look at the Climate Solutions – Money page.

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