COP26 was meant to be a large step towards saving the planet – but just a week out from the start of the heralded Glasgow conference, it looks to be a damp squib.
Neither Russian nor Chinese officials will attend the summit in person, much to the chagrin of the British government.
Two major players refusing to turn up to the table indicates that globally, no one is taking Britain seriously as the coordinator of climate change curbing.
But there’s major doubts as to whether most nations are pursuing green measures with any conviction.
A report obtained by the BBC earlier this week revealed that the likes of Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia have all lobbied the UN to avoid pressing nations on climate change.
The leaked documents show that many countries want to phase out fossil fuels at a rate that suits them – not the planet.
Beijing, perhaps the most notable absentee, may look at the conference with cynicism. China, which has defined itself as a green superpower and recently implemented an overseas coal ban, may question what another round of climate talks will achieve.
All talk and no action, to paraphrase Her Majesty?
But the crux of the problem is ideology. As much as various parties like to dismiss the idea of the inherent link between politics and the climate, the two are heavily intertwined.
To be fair to the Prime Minister, he has unveiled a green investment plan unbecoming of a Conservative government. And yet, it’s still not enough. It can never be enough under a pro-capitalist, pro-business administration.
To put the planet first is to put the people first. And as the anticipated failure of COP26 is set to show, it is only through socialist governments that the globe will save itself.
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