Despite calls to postpone COP26 due to vaccine inequality, in 8 weeks time world leaders will come together to discuss how they can accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at the COP26 (Conference of Parties). This is a significant moment for our movement, not only because these conferences garner huge media coverage and public attention, but because in the past COP has been the only process dedicated to climate negotiations that is inclusive of delegates from every country around the world.
We know the pandemic, Covid-19 vaccine inequality, and closed borders have made it impossible for some delegates to join, in particular, people from the Pacific who are most impacted by climate catastrophes and least responsible for them. At the same time, we recognise that the COP process is typically notoriously disappointing in its outcomes in terms of actions on climate. Instead of being discouraged by this, we know that real change comes from ordinary people all over the world doing extraordinary things simply by collaborating, being grounded in a strong vision and not giving up. More than ever, as a climate justice movement, we need to be loud, creative and disruptive.
We have seen the escalating and terrifying impacts of climate change. We know the cause; the fossil fuel industry! And we know there is no time to lose to call on governments and financial institutions to move financial flows away from fossil fuels, and into a timely and equitable Just Transition.
“If industrialized countries were able to, within a record time, mobilize trillions and trillions of dollars to address this COVID-19 crisis, it means that there is a lot of money in this world. It is only that there is no political will by those who have caused the climate problem,” – Mithika Mwenda, Executive director of Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance
All around the world, people like you and I who are part of 350.org and the wider climate movement are getting ready to organise creative and disruptive actions to expose the hypocrisy by decision-makers and raise the bar on what is seen as possible. We have a vision of a safe, just and equitable future built by the power of ordinary people, and we want to share this with as many people as possible.
Our actions across Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific this COP26 will be bold and creative! For that reason, we have decided to host the ‘We demand a safe climate and equitable future’ mural competition and select one winner who will get to paint their design in a public location of their choice/or suggested by 350 Aotearoa. As a climate justice grassroots organisation, we hope the mural will inspire many more people to join the movement that can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice.
We know Aotearoa is full of emerging and talented artists that would like to express their vision in a design that will inspire climate action and uplift those frontline communities most impacted by climate chaos.