‘I have seen COP26 for what it really is’ – by Lochaber climate activist Lily Bloom

Want to read more?

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?

 

Problems logging in and require
technical support? Click here
Subscribe Now

As weary delegates attending the UN climate conference, COP26, head back to their homes in all corners of the globe after a fortnight of efforts to limit the warming of the planet, we have a special report from Lochaber High School pupil Lily Bloom, one of the area’s climate activists who travelled to Glasgow for the event.

Lily Bloom, left, and fellow Lochaber climate and environmental activist, Holly Gillibrand, helped to marshal the Friday march.  NO F47 Lily Bloom
Lily Bloom, left, and fellow Lochaber climate and environmental activist, Holly Gillibrand, helped to marshal the Friday march.
NO F47 Lily Bloom

Before and during COP26, our prime minister has been repeatedly telling other countries they need to step up their game to meet a target of 1.5C of warming, writes Lily Bloom.

He is trying to deflect the blame from himself by shaming others. Make no mistake – every country in the western world needs to lower their emissions significantly, but so do we.

He said himself that ‘when it comes to tackling climate change, words without action, without deeds are absolutely pointless’.

Those are strange words from someone who arrived and left the conference by a private plane and who is pushing to approve 40 new coal, oil and gas fields by 2025.

He is giving us empty promises in an attempt to appease the people. He wants to satisfy us, while not actually doing anything.

On Friday November 5, we went to Glasgow and joined 30,000 other young people from all over the world for the climate strike. We were at the front of the march, helping to steward and maintain the safety Most Affected People and Areas activists and others.

We never saw the full extent of how many people had shown up until we reached the top of a hill and turned around. There were people as far as I could see.

At that moment, I was so proud of Fridays For Future Glasgow, which organised the march. It was an incredible sight.

At that protest, our cause seemed more real than ever – you could feel it in the atmosphere that every single person there knew this COP is the last chance.

It has been dubbed the ‘most important’ and yet halfway through it feels like our politicians have already thrown this chance away.

All I have seen from world leaders is yet more ‘targets’ and ‘goals’ set for 10, 20, 30 years in the future. We do not have that time – all over the world the effects of a drastically changing climate are already being felt.

I have seen the COP for what it really is: the leaders of western society come together to give speeches and pretend everything is going to be fine.

At the rally in George Square, we heard people from everywhere speak about their experiences with climate change. Activists from the Brazilian and Ecuadorian Amazon spoke about the loss of their homes and, in some cases, friends or family members.

They are some of the people most affected by climate change and yet, inside the COP, they are vastly under-represented.

Vanessa Nakate spoke about how people in Africa are bearing the worst effects of climate change and yet are also erased from media coverage and events like COP26.

Mikaela Loach talked about the importance of intersectionality and how we cannot have climate justice without racial justice and the abolishment of oppressive and biased systems.

Greta Thunberg noted how, no matter how much our leaders wish to, we cannot fight for climate justice while maintaining the status quo, nor can we solve everything with technology.

Over the past two years world leaders’ opinions of us have changed. We have made sure they cannot forget the problems our world is facing.

They have begun to feed us these false promises, reassurances that everything will be alright in the hope we will be quiet. But that is not the case – we are the people and we will not be satisfied until they accept their own mistakes and act.

Not in 2050, or 2030. Now.

CAPTION:

At a rally in Glasgow’s George Square, Lily and other climate campaigners heard from activists from the Brazilian and Ecuadorian Amazon who spoke about the loss of their homes and, in some cases, friends or family members. Photograph: Lily Bloom. NO F47 Climate Friday 01

Extra pic:

Lily Bloom, left, and fellow Lochaber climate and environmental activist, Holly Gillibrand, helped to marshal the Friday march.

NO F47 Lily Bloom