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COP26: Daily Reports on the League Perspective


Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash


The annual UN Climate Conference, COP26, is underway in Glasgow, Scotland and 5 League representatives are attending this year as delegates for the League of Women Voters of the U.S.


The team will be reporting daily for the duration of the conference. See the reports below.


11/10: Week 2, Day 4 of COP26


Submitted by the LWVUS COP26 Delegation


Negotiations

Some NGOs (Women, Young people, enviros) are demanding that if a market mechanism is put in place, strong safeguards must be included. This would include having an independent grievance process which would allow those impacted to have their concerns addressed. At this COP, there is a strong sentiment that the market mechanism will only benefit companies and rich countries. Small island states, indigenous peoples, and the people in developing nations will be harmed. Thus, there is a strong push from outside the ministerial meetings to include language that will address these issues.


Furthermore, the delegates are reluctant to come to an agreement on how loss and damage, adaptation issues should be addressed. Most of the efforts in the negotiations have been spent on mitigation. At this point in the negotiations, the negotiating is being done, primarily, by blocks of nations, such as a group called the “Group of 77 + China”, “Alliance of Small Island States” (AOSIS), and “Like-Minded Developing Countries” (LMDC). These groups have enormous sway and seem to be driven by one country. For example, the LMDC seems to be directed by Saudi Arabia.


There is a good article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2021/nov/10/cop26-draft-text-annotated-what-it-says-and-what-it-means, which contains annotations to help explain the language of a draft of the COP outcome statement.


There is a People’s Plenary on Friday to make the outcomes of this COP recognize the citizens of the world, especially those most impacted by climate change.


At a UNICEF event, it was stated that only 29 countries have signed onto the Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action (https://www.unicef.org/environment-and-climate-change/climate-declaration ). The US has not. It is time that the US signed onto this very important declaration.


Launch of the UN's Green Events Tool, 11 Nov

Events have a significant carbon footprint. You can follow how the UN is doing with mitigating its environmental footprint from its facilities and operations in its annual Greening the Blue Report. For example, COP 26 is intended to be the first carbon neutral COP.

The free Green Events Tool originally was developed to green UN events. It now will be made available to anyone wanting to make their events more sustainable, regardless of event size. It includes sustainability practices and a GHG footprint calculator to help event planners focus their GHG reductions and is integrated with building certifications. Event planners can take greening steps all the way up to certification. Release to organizational users and medium/large events will happen in the first quarter of next year.

This launch follows the global events industry's 10 November announcement of a Net Zero Carbon Events pledge. Signatories commit to publish before the end of 2023 their organization’s pathway to achieve net zero by 2050, with an interim target in line with the Paris Agreement’s requirement to reduce global GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, and to report on progress at least every two years. This roadmap already has been adopted by 109 venues, organizers, suppliers, and associations.


11/10: Week 2, Day 3 of COP26


Submitted by the LWVUS COP26 Delegation


Climate Change and its Threats to Takistan

Climate Change and its Threats to Takistan was well attended. The International Bamboo and Rattan Organization had items displayed and elaborate posters. I was alarmed when I passed the Nuclear for Climate exhibit --- “Nuclear is a proven low carbon source of energy.” #NetZeroNeedsNuclear Qatar was presenting to a full house about “filling the enforcement gaps”. And there was a good crowd listening to the presentation by the representative of the Republic of Congo. China may not be attending COP26 but that country didn’t miss an opportunity to market itself in the China Corporate Pavilion – “Facing the Future, Daring to Initiate.” Turkey, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE and many others have elaborate displays and presentations for anyone they might lure into their spots.


Green Climate Fund (GCF) Innovation Working Paper

GCF has surveyed farmers all over the world starting with “What can you do on your farm?” to find out mitigation and adaptation methods that they could and would be willing to do. They hope to complete the survey by COP27 and will have a report then.

Everything is about what’s in soils. Politics may differ but soil is always soil so there is a constant for communications around the world. There are actions that have direct benefits, but this always takes time. Working with existing problems is best because soil depletion is much harder to replenish. Unfortunately, this is a very common problem all over due to unsustainable farming practices. He quoted John Kerry as saying “The basis of sustainable of farming is the profit of farming.”


It is important to diversify land use between food, textile and energy crops and converting from conventional to regenerative farming requires a special kind of loan. The Green Climate Fund works to provide gap funding for this process while making sure that the funds are used in the correct way. They believe that soil recovery and enrichment for agriculture does more about climate change in the shortest time when in partnership with farmers, financiers and policy makers.


Reykjavik Green Deal

Reykjavik Green Deal; Sustainability, Innovation & the Healthy City; Speaker Mayor of Reykjavik

In 1932, this was a coal and wood-burning city with a dark cloud of smog hanging overhead. Since the Paris Agreement, they had been measuring their carbon footprint and studying transportation, land use, waste management and creating an Action Plan. Working with citizens and stakeholders, 100% of homes in the city now use geothermal for heating and they are now looking at alternatives to landfills as well. They are using CARBFIX for carbon capture, creating a type of stone, which is then used for municipal roadways and building projects. In addition, they now have programs to support wetlands and are planting ‘climate forests’.

Iceland has a population of approximately 70,000 and 22% live in Reykjavik. Through careful study and planning, the city continues to reduce urban sprawl by building community spaces nearer to city offices, improving public transit, reducing the number of petrol stations and working to make Reykjavik a ‘Bicycle City’ with traffic patterns to create safe bike lanes.

The mayor, a medical doctor, stated that one of the hardest things to do is change human behavior. Much progress was made while taking advantage of the break in routine caused by Covid. Every action taken makes the city more livable and healthier.

The benefits to the population as well as the environment are clear. The best advice given to communities beginning this process is “measure, measure, measure”. One must have accurate tools to take appropriate action.





Negotiations

Still a hard road for the Ministers. British COP26 President Alok Sharma said on Tuesday negotiators at the United Nations' climate summit were making progress but there was still a mountain to climb to reach an agreement.

The USA made the following announcement: The USA promoting gender equity and equality in responding to climate change as a priority of its National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality; investing at least $14 million of the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund toward gender-responsive climate programming; and investing more than $20 million towards initiatives to increase women’s economic opportunities in the clean energy sector, strengthen action on gender-based violence and the environment, address barriers to women’s land rights, and support women farmers in East Africa to adapt to climate impacts.


11/9: Week 2, Day 2 of COP26




Submitted by the LWVUS COP26 Delegation


Negotiations

Parties word-smithed a statement on Climate Finance. Words seem to matter to some more than others. Time was spent on whether or not the “welcome” or “to take note of” an item. More importantly, there was a discussion on the definition of climate financing. Some parties appeared to be saying that fossil fuel (clean or not) should be included. Another made a rather sarcastic remark that the United States had a 10-page definition of what climate financing is (need to look up this definition!)


At the High-Level Segment where heads of delegations or the head of state make grand statements, a couple stood out from the ones we observed (the speeches are still going on). Iran made the point that it was hard to be ambitious in addressing climate change since sanctions prohibited them to accesses technology or funds that would help them to achieve reductions in their ambitions. Russia (yes they are here in the negotiations, just were not at the World Leader Summit) stated it would reach net zero by relying heavily on natural carbon sinks such as their forests and on clean fuel.

More to follow.


11/8: Week 2, Day 1 of COP26


Submitted by the LWVUS COP26 Delegation


Former President Obama spoke in the afternoon to a capacity crowd. One of our delegates managed to get in the room partway through his speech. It was a powerful speech, especially the second half in which he spoke to the youth of the world. He emphasized that the UN process and getting to a climate agreement is political and it can’t be ignored. He urged the youth that the one most important step they could take is to vote and to vote their interests. Here’s the link to the speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbikEWq_5b4.

A Greenpeace event entitled "Net Zero Smoke and Mirrors, A Story of Betrayal" making the case against carbon market offsetting, had a panel discussing how companies and countries are using “net-zero” phrasing to hide behind efforts which seem to suggest emission reduction, but are not. One panelist suggested that individual targets to reduce emissions that a company says it is using should be examined closely, rather than any net-reduction target. The use of “net” is not a transparent way for a company to report its emission reduction. The Greenpeace panelist (a lawyer) suggested that the only way to hold companies and countries accountable is to sue. She listed several lawsuits that have been successful: Germany was successfully sued for not having a emission reduction plan, France also was found to have inadequate measures, and Shell (sued in the Netherlands) has been held liable for damaging the climate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QywPKXwesi0


"Loss and Damage" Day

It was “Loss and Damage” day at Cop26. A recurrent theme today was the public/private partnership. It is critical for governments to support green economics in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. One cannot efficiently operate without the other. It is a topic in which many agree that a shift is needed, but there doesn't appear to be any political will where the power rests. Here’s a summary of one event:

In Exploring Loss and Damage, the moderator tried to break silos and refresh a toxic stalemate. Barbados' PM said tropical nations already are on the front lines of Climate Change, which can be measured in % GDP loss. These countries have limited capacity and are burdened by cleaning up from the 70% of emissions caused by the Global North plus problems with paying insurance premiums for that damage. She seeks a 1% fossil-fuel consumption fee to produce more than $170B/year for a Loss and Damage fund for immediate liquidity and natural disaster clauses to suspend debt repayment for two years in the event of a natural disaster. Other speakers raised concerns about Climate Change's reducing protein sources, drinking water supplies, and destroying cultural heritage. More ambitious adaptation is needed. Migration already is occurring. At least the idea of involving corporate leaders to give back to damaged nation-states who really need it was raised in some fashion in the overlapping biennial High Level Ministerial Dialogue on climate finance under the CMA.



From the U.S.Center’s, a panel on Adaptation: From planning to action where a representative from Canada spoke of their efforts to support NAP (National Adaptation Plan) to help developing countries advance their processes to work with accelerating climate change. Some of the places Canada has doubled its financial resources sent to Figi, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands and Cote d’Ivoir, all of whom are at grave risk from rising seas. Canada is also working to help scale up efforts regarding climate action and to allow mainstreaming of gender (equality) in order to be more effective in dealing with dire circumstances. There were a number of funding resource representatives in the audience.

Also speaking was a UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development official, who explained their adaptation and climate resilience must be met with an ‘all governments/all society’ approach and vowed to integrate consciousness of women, girls, indigenous people and others when purchasing. The goal is to reach adaptation resilience by 2030 and have included a ‘water tracker’ that evaluates risks and sets policies for NAP water issues due to climate change.

NAP is looking for funding commitments for the coming year. A presentative from Granada is making funding requests and feel that the adaptation implementation should be centralized in public social services because ease of communication and identification of the most vulnerable starts there and adds that there should be a cabinet-level position created in order to oversee the work because of the need for rigorous fiduciary standards to ensure correct use of funds.

A ground-up approach with front-line communications and a local approach is favored. The proof is in implementation or sitting merely as a good idea.

(An audience member called out Canada as guilty of hypocrisy due to its ill treatment of indigenous people.)

In the Resilience Lab, a panel discussed some of the emotional aspects of climate science and global community. Human capacity for solidarity and the difference between psychology and ideology (religion, race, gender, etc) being all imagined communities as well as concepts of time and technology. We don’t experience that we are one with others, but we all have the common experience of crisis. Politically created problems must have politically worked answers and the common thread through many speeches is to express a threat with all its psychological possibilities.

The speaker from Save the Children said we were all children once and can look back for solutions. A ‘green’ transition will likely have a high level of positive impact, whereas 8% have serious risk from extreme events and this rises to 18% if they are geographically vulnerable. We can build on things we share in common, such as children’s educations. There is a great emphasis on collaboration rather than competition and that exacerbates the issues and this is apparent in social media. Other ideas discussed by the panel were:

  • We need a mechanism to work with differences

  • Finding common values

  • Funding positive intervention

  • Regional security (or not)- the need for protection

  • ‘I protect you”

  • Questions regarding values, then drawing interest based on common values

  • A holistic approach to community without borders or boundaries

  • Finding common values and drawing interest based on those values

  • Women’s solidarity and respect for other cultures as a foundation for sharing.

  • Sharing of educational resources throughout the world.

  • Language is important, using we rather than I or me.

In the Denmark pavilion – a panel on Climate Finance (Institutional Investors)

The panel discussed climate finance and the need for public/private partnerships. Private must be willing to invest and should have government support for needed programs. For instance, Denmark’s ambition is to mobilize $1b investments in solar by 2030. Why? Solar is not a practical energy source for these northern countries. Wind power is the order of the day there. However, Denmark and their Nordic partners realize the value of supporting action that may not support them directly but will support them indirectly by ameliorating climate crises in other areas, thus reducing the deleterious effects of climate change. They also feel a moral imperative to use their wealth to enhance the lives of others.

It is important to create a roadmap of international solar needs and get it done within a year and continue working until the work is complete. 800 million have no access to solar or wind power and many are in developing economies—they included China in this assessment. Shipping and aviation are two specific areas to focus on and the actions must be changeable if necessary with reasonable targets for the short term.


11/5: Day 5 of COP26


Submitted by the LWVUS COP26 Delegation


Today in Brief

Al Gore gave an inspiring presentation: "The Danger We're In and the Case for Hope". You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAJ_Vx3XUdw.


Here are our takeaways:


"The Danger We're In and the Case for Hope" presented hundreds of images and videos from current weather disasters that are attributable to climate change. He said that he used to have to search for images for these presentations, but these events are happening so frequently now that he had several images that had just occurred in the past week. Atmospheric rivers result in rain bombs and flash flooding (NYC this summer), heat waves lead to uninhabitable temperatures (Pacific NW this summer, town in Iran had a temperature of 165 degrees, not compatible with life - leading to climate migration), high temperatures lead to drought (Madagascar climate, famine), and heating oceans results in toxic algae blooms (fish shortage for consumption) and coral reef bleaching (loss of biodiversity).


He did speak of reasons to have hope at the end of the talk. Solar and wind energy is approaching similar pricing to fossil fuels and should be cheaper within the next three years. Several countries are destroying their coal plants as they are no longer cost-effective. Green hydrogen is getting new investments and becoming more reasonable as an alternative solution to fossil fuels. Once the world reaches true net-zero, the earth's temperature will stop increasing in as soon as 3-5 years, and half of human-made CO2 would be absorbed into the ocean/trees in about 25-30 years.


Following that presentation, there was an event called "Destination 2030", where several panels gave hope that we can reduce our carbon emissions by 2030. We have the technology, we just need to act (as Gina McCarthy says). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgTxzTbwMWQ




Negotiations

Slow progress to create text that the climate ministers can work to finalize next week. Lots of people pushing to get the work done to finalize the Paris Agreement rule book, but several parties are putting up roadblocks for one reason or another.


Disability-Inclusive Climate Action: Rights and Obligations

LWVUS was the co-sponsor of an event entitled: Disability-Inclusive Climate Action: Rights and Obligations. LWVUS moderated the event. The panel included His Excellency Jan Walberg, Ambassador for Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland; Katherine Lofts, McGill Univ; Susie Fitton, Inclusion Scotland; Pratima Gurung, Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network; Cara Schulte, Human Rights Watch; Jose Viera, International Disability Alliance; and Sue Swenson, Inclusion International.


Watch the LWVUS hosted event here:




11/4: Day 4 of COP26


Submitted by the LWVUS COP26 Delegation


Today's events featured a presentation of the IPCC's recent report that was released in August 2021: "Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis". The trailer for the report can be viewed here and was played at the beginning of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1Vx_a6F57Q. The co-chair of the committee covered the following topics: current state of the climate, possible climate futures, climate information for risk and adaptation, and limiting climate change. All of the panel members highly recommended use of their website (https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/) and the resources available, including FAQ and their Interactive Atlas.


USAID and EPA held an event in the US pavilion with several groups (Clean Cooking Alliance, Power Africa, and the WHO) to discuss "Advancing Clean Energy Access to Households for Climate and Health Equity". USAID and the EPA have promised to support these groups that work to reduce emissions from home cooking as well as to electrify homes and health systems throughout the US and developing world, ideally with renewable energy sources. Several of the panelists spoke of feminist climate justice in this discussion as women and children face most of the consequences of household air pollution (cooking with fire/rudimentary stoves) and health impacts from health clinics without electricity (pregnancy, childbirth; by providing electricity to a primary health clinic, infant mortality rates drop by 40%).


Energy Day

An historic day as the first day in all of the COPS to be dedicated to renewable energy and no more fossil fuels. Saw presentations for offshore wind, green hydrogen, and small modular nuclear reactor energy.




At the US Center

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland kicked off the presentation of the US goal (from March 2021) of building 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind farms by 2030. Already have plans for 19 GW off of MA. Partnering with Denmark for their expertise. Denmark minister discussed that they have started transitioning from oil/gas production in the North Sea to wind energy. They are on target to reduce emissions 70% by 2030, and will become net negative and energy exporter in the future. Italian minister claimed that 1.25 million jobs are supported by the wind energy sector, with 10,000-15,000 jobs/GW wind power created.


Delegates saw the Green Hydrogen Show. Green hydrogen is created by electrolysis of water. I believe hydrogen can then be stored to power electrical generation later. Australian companies are developing green hydrogen and green ammonia to power mining and heavy industry. It needs big capital investment upfront. Something to watch.

US Center hosted a joint agreement with Romania to build a small modular nuclear reactor. Small modular nuclear reactors have different cooling mechanisms to make them much, much safer than our present nuclear reactors. This is a continuation of the agreement since the Reagan administration for help in bringing their nuclear reactors up to US safety codes.


Attending negotiations was tougher today. The Article 6 negotiations were full (no chairs left) and only a few seats for observers. In one negotiation related to science and research, the group was attempting to agree to a statement that accepted documents from various UN organizations such as WMO and IPCC. The statement also was drafted to thank the organizations for their work. However, after 1 hour, only 4 of the 16 short paragraphs had been spoken to, and the group of member states could not agree to the text. Saudi Arabia is being particularly troublesome as they thought the statement “It [the SBSTA] encouraged Parties to use the information to inform their actions under the Convention and the Paris Agreement" went a bit too far! If the member states are having difficulty agreeing to such a statement – how are they ever going to agree on how to create a market for trading carbon credits!


Want help with monitoring and understanding your local area’s carbon emissions? Go to this website http://ig3is.wmo.int to check out the Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System.


11/3: Day 3 of COP26


Submitted by the LWVUS COP26 Delegation


Here’s some of what we learned today:

Heard from John Kerry about the US’s part of the pledge to reduce deforestation by 2030. Treasury Dept’s pledge to use resources to fight environmental crime. USAID’s pledge to aid foreign countries to save forests and respect indigenous people’s lands. Additionally, financial institutions, part of the Forest Investment Club and the LEAF foundation as well as others that represent 9 trillion in portfolios, pledged to divest of projects that cut forests for agricultural use by 2025.


"We have the new currency that the world needs: biodiversity."

Another take on the same event:


The US pavilion had a press conference this morning to announce that five developing countries (Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nepal, Ghana, Vietnam) have signed letters of intent to join the LEAF Coalition for tropical forest conservation. These countries are agreeing to limit deforestation and help with reforestation in their own countries, which will offset private companies' carbon usage with carbon trading (Amazon, AirBnB, Walmart.com). I thought Ecuador's representative had a particularly meaningful quote, "We have the new currency that the world needs: biodiversity."


Heard from another discussion regarding global governance for global forestry, noted the need for adequate payment for environmental services. There are many issues, such as equity in price on carbon, reciprocity of what developed countries have done in past and what less developed countries are doing today, avoiding corruption, and allowing sustainable logging while considering action to save forests without creating unintended consequences.

The EU and UK appear to think of the Congo River Basin as the US thinks of the Amazon. They are very concerned about deforestation. An example is that the Paris Olympic committee is using wood to avoid C from cement in building venues and Olympic village. And they are banning tropical timber to make a statement of avoiding tropical deforestation. In doing this, they are harming the well being of the villages of the rainforests that are the best group to conserve. Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo are perhaps #1 and 2 in the world in being either lowest carbon emissions or negative due to their extensive forests. Reciprocity needs to be considered as the UK has the lowest forest cover of just about anywhere. They have already done their deforestation, but nobody is banning timber exports. Other issue is that C is priced at $5/ton C for Congo area GHG reduction projects vs $50-60/ton in EU. The lower price is created not by Gabon or Congo, but as a sort of currency of carbon markets. This cheapens the environmental services of the Congo Basin Forests. Sustainable logging can be a viable industry in the tropical rainforests of the Congo River Basin.


There was a question about corruption in Congo and other African nations and forestry. What they have done to address this in 2006, 2009 is to have traceability stamps on products, and to split proceeds between local villages, companies and 30-40% to governments so as to reduce corruption and profit taking. Countries have followed these international agreements, yet are still being tartgeted. These countries need additional revenue to continue maintenance of forests and environmental services. Everyone agrees forests store carbon, provide water, support biodiversity, support villages, renewable resource.


Today was Finance Day at COP and the United Nations Development Programme hosted a talk on "Socially Inclusive and Gender-Responsive Budgeting and Planning Solutions for Climate Resilience" - several countries are adding gender terms and language to their climate promises in an effort to reach gender equality, but most speakers mentioned that "plans need to be implemented, they cannot stay plans".





Also – The Women and Gender Constituency announced an action as delegates left the hall for the day. They lifted up the names of the women from the global south who could not attend COP – due to cost, visa issues, covid and other reasons. They need to be at the table.


Another event, led by young people, spoke about how the youth of the world needed to also be at the negotiation table because they will inherit the earth. One speaker from Africa made the point that the youth need also to help find solutions, not just protest.


And finally – negotiations are plodding along. The issue of how often Nationally Determined Contributions need to be updated was finally in a form to send (in week 2) to the heads of delegations to make the decisions on the final text. But the negotiations for Article 6, which deals with carbon markets are not. Not only is there disagreement in whether or not language related to human rights should be included, there is disagreement in how non-GHG credits should be treated. There is a concern from some developed countries that “nature-based” credits can be misused, while other countries want to be able to use such credits.



11/2: Day 2 of COP26


Report submitted by Robin Tokmakian, LWVUS UN Observer for Climate


Attended the Plenary Session on Forests and Land Use (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiKn-qKfO34).


This event was a set of panel discussions to address the need to stop deforestation. In the session that we observed, it started off with a speech from His Royal Highness Prince Charles. (We missed the first part which PM Boris Johnson and President Biden addressed the group because of the long time it took to get through security! And then we had to get a special ticket to attend!) Prince Charles spoke about his “Natural Capital Investment Alliance” (NCIA). The NCIA looks to the finance community to create natural capital investing to help communities to reduce deforestation. Addresses were also heard from the PMs of Finland and Norway, and the President of the EU, each offered up money to help improve the health in forests, mainly in the Congo and Amazon regions. Other speakers were the heads of the WTO, World Economic Forum, Ford Foundation, and several indigenous groups. One indigenous person (Tuntiak Katan - Indigenous Org of Amazon River Basin) was very passionate about how we all needed to work together to restore our global forests (“All get into the canoe together”). With a sober nod to reality, the head of the Nature Conservancy shed a light on all the proposed funding and ambition. She reminded us that a similar effort was made in 2014, and yet not one dollar had yet to be spent from this 2014 effort on reducing deforestation. Let’s hope the proposed efforts made today at COP26, do see results.

The major outcome of the World Leaders Summit resulted in several agreements – one of saving forests (110 leaders signed on) and one to address methane (20 leaders signed on). The US signed onto both.

See this link for a full in-depth look at the formal UN negotiations: Earth Negotiations Bulletin: https://enb.iisd.org/sites/default/files/2021-11/enb12784e.pdf and https://enb.iisd.org/Glasgow-Climate-Change-Conference-COP26 for previous/future days.


11/1: Day 1 of COP26


Report submitted by Robin Tokmakian, LWVUS UN Observer for Climate


5 LWV local members are here this week. 1 from CT, 2 from CA (1 recently moved from WA), 1 from DC, and 1 from OR.

Biden gave his speech at the World Leaders Summit. You can find a UK press summary of it here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/01/biden-cop26-speech-climate-change-action-us-lead-example. (We did not see it live or in-person).

Besides that, some of us attend heard Sec. Blinken, John Kerry, and Gina McCarthey speak at the US Pavillion. It was difficult to hear Blinken and Kerry because the organizers did not want to use microphones to keep the crowd around the pavilion small (didn't work). McCarthey, however, used her powerful voice to make strong statements about the US's Climate Goals and Actions.



A couple of us were able to hear some of the negotiations on several topics. On Article 6, both Canada and Australia strongly support added language to address how carbon markets need to consider human rights (US did not mention human rights in their statement). The other topic we covered was for Article 4 of the Paris Agreement on Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs. Delegates learned how to track progress of how individual countries are living up to their NDCs.


Last - A couple of members attended the “Feminist Action for Climate Justice” sponsored by the Women & Gender Constituency. Here's her summary:


Today’s event featured nine female speakers from around the world who talked about the role of women and indigenous people within the context of climate change. I was most impacted by the speaker from Madagascar - the first country to experience a famine due to climate change, which is having severe impacts on women and their families. The country is experiencing limited fishing resources due to coral reef bleaching as well as heavy winds and droughts that have limited crop growth. The speaker told of her recent conversation with Veronique, a 43 year old mother of twelve children who has experienced severe loss over the last year. Two of her children have died of hunger as well as about half of the children in her village. Veronique married off two of her daughters (11 and 14 years old) as she did not have enough food for them. Despite this, she is working with a grassroots organization of other women to explore efforts to repair their food sources and find potential solutions for climate change.


(This story was just published today by ABC News about the crisis: https://abcnews.go.com/International/madagascar-verge-climate-change-induced-famine/story?id=80857410)


Stay tuned for more updates coming later this week.


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