Remaining Vigilant for Hypocrisy at COP26

While there are undoubtedly some signs for hope coming out of the climate change conference in Glasgow this week, unfortunately, our leaders are, in some major ways, still falling far short.

After speaking about the vital importance of action at the conference, Boris Johnson and other leaders have been criticised for flying back home. Time is obviously a factor, but really, a few extra hours on a train to London surely could not have made all that much difference.

Disappointment, also, about the food served to delegates. Concerns have been raised that, while steps have been taken to note and reveal the carbon costs of the various options on offer, and local food is supplied, the bulk of the options still come at a high carbon cost. With a high proportion of meat-based options.

And while there are 28 new signatories to the UK-led ‘powering past coal’ initiative, we are yet to find out whether a new coal mine (for steel production) will open in England. Boris Johnson has said that this is for planners to decide, which they should do by around the end of the year.

As individuals, we all have to look out for hypocrisy – especially surrounding climate action. No one is perfect, and we have a difficult path ahead of us. But we need to delve a little deeper and make sure we all know what politicians, authorities and business leaders are really doing, and hold them to account.

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