Between the 1st– 13th November 2021, COP26 took place in Glasgow. The Chair of the NFWI Public Affairs Committee, Nicky Amos and members of the NFWI Public Affairs team attended the conference between the 4th– 7th November 2021.
On the 5th November, the WI had a stand in the UK Government’s ‘Green Zone.’ This showcased the work of WI members and Climate Ambassadors throughout 2021 and in the run-up to COP26. The WI Climate Scrapbook was on display, in addition to a video produced by Cheshire Climate Ambassadors. Visitors to the stand were given a No More Loopholes bracelet made by WI members and made pledges which were tied onto the giant ‘No More Loopholes’ bracelet. We met visitors from across the world and showcased the WI to a new audience.
On the 6th November, the NFWI Public Affairs team battled the Scottish weather and marched alongside 100,000 people during the Glasgow Global Day of Action to demand climate justice and climate action that would keep us on track for 1.5C of temperature rises. WI members marched across the UK in London, Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham- and that’s just the places we know about!
COP26 was a vital staging post towards a net-zero world with 1.5C of temperature rises.
At Glasgow, we saw the world pick up the pace of climate action and turned the temperature gauge down. COP26 wasn’t the complete solution, but the gap between where we are and a safer world is slowly but surely beginning to close.
But the NFWI are clear that COP26 should only be the start of the UK’s climate ambitions. The UK still remains as the COP26 President until November 2022, and it must do all that it can to pressure other nations to continue to ratchet up their climate ambitions and put their pledges at CO2P6 into action. The UK has a start of a plan through its long term net-zero strategy, but there’s still huge amount of work to be done from every member of the Government.
But the reason that progress has happened is because of pressure from WI members and the general public on the UK Government to push us towards a better, greener world.
Findings of an Ipsos MORI poll released last week showed the highest level of concern about climate change since the agency began polling in 1988. More and more, there is growing public awareness of the need for our leaders to take ambitious climate action fit for the 21st century.
Lots has been done, but there is still lots to do. Over the next few months, the WI will be keeping up the momentum on our climate change campaigning work. There will be lots of opportunities for you to take part in The Climate Coalition’s campaign plans like February’s Show the Love 2022 and the Great Big Green Week in September 2022, and plenty more on the WI’s own environmental campaigns.