In reaction to the outcome of COP26, Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam International Executive Director, made the following statement:
“Clearly some world leaders think they aren’t living on the same planet as the rest of us. It seems no amount of fires, rising sea levels or droughts will bring them to their senses to stop increasing emissions at the expense of humanity.
“Punishing, extreme weather is already wrecking the lives of the most vulnerable. People are barely clinging on, having little resources to cope with the constant threat of losing all that they own. The world’s poorest have done the least to cause the climate emergency, yet are the ones left struggling to survive while also footing the bill.
“The request to strengthen 2030 reduction targets by next year is an important step. The work starts now. Big emitters, especially rich countries, must heed the call and align their targets to give us the best possible chance of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach. Despite years of talks, emissions continue to rise, and we are dangerously close to losing this race against time.
“Developing countries, representing over 6 billion people, put forward a loss and damage finance facility to build back in the aftermath of extreme weather events linked to climate change. Not only did rich countries block this, all they would agree to is limited funding for technical assistance and a ‘dialogue’. This derisory outcome is tone deaf to the suffering of millions of people both now and in the future.
“For the first time, a goal for adaptation finance was agreed. The commitment to double is below what developing countries asked for and need, but if realised it will increase support to developing countries by billions.
“It’s painful that diplomatic efforts have once more failed to meet the scale of this crisis. But we should draw strength from the growing movement of people around the world challenging and holding our governments to account for everything we hold dear. A better world is possible. With creativity, with bravery, we can and must hold onto that belief.”