COP26 Coalition launch crowdfunder for Global South activists

The COP26 Coalition are raising funds to support Global South activists get to Glasgow to fight for climate justice. Find out how you can donate.

The COP26 Coalition are dedicated to increasing Global South participation, even amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic. As well as their Visa Support Service, they’re setting up an International Travel Fund for people from Global South countries who need financial support to cover travel costs.

When the UN climate talks come to Glasgow this November, we need nothing short of urgent climate action based on justice across the world. Those on the frontlines of the climate crisis will be central to this and must be front and centre at the negotiations.

But frontline, Global South and other marginalised communities will face many obstacles even getting to Glasgow for COP26. One huge problem will be navigating the UK Home Office’s unjust immigration system to obtain a visit visa – a system that often makes deeply discriminatory decisions, refuses the right to appeal, and is made up of a complex documentation process that penalises poorer applicants. And this year, there are even more hurdles: from new Brexit rules to unequal vaccine rollouts and possible quarantine restrictions.

To ensure that Global South communities do not continue to get side-lined, we must stand in solidarity with their activists and delegates. The COP26 Coalition is working to provide support in overcoming the huge hurdles of obtaining visit visas – and need your help to do so.

What the Coalition are doing to help

The Coalition are setting up a Visa Support Service to assist people from predominantly Global South countries who are applying for visas for COP26. They’re working with a qualified immigration solicitor to support them to navigate the visa system. This support will be critical in boosting their chances of obtaining the visit visa they need.

The Visa Support Service will launch in late July 2021 and will prioritise Global South applicants coming to COP to fight for climate justice. 

The £20,000 target will pay for a qualified immigration solicitor to check at least 200 applications before they’re submitted and support applicants through the visa process. 

The Coalition has already been inundated with requests for assistance from Global South activists eager to shape the negotiations in Glasgow.

And the more money raised, the more people who can be supported – increasing Global South participation at COP26. 

How you can help 

Chip in as much as you can – no donation is too small.

  • £50 covers the cost of a call with a lawyer to offer advice on visa documentation
  • £200 allows us to support an applicant navigate the complex UK visa system
  • £500 covers the cost of a more challenging application, for example assisting someone facing persecution in their home country for their work on the environment

Why Global South participation at COP26 is so crucial

We cannot tackle the multiple crises and the system of injustices we face if those most affected are not able to properly participate in decision-making spaces. Members of the Global South have made clear why in-person attendance is crucial for effective participation and raised serious concerns about the challenges that virtual participation in the summit pose to their accessibility. These concerns were proven right at the virtual pre-COP negotiations in June 2021. 

Those bearing the brunt of the climate crisis are the least responsible for emissions – and also hold many of the systemic solutions we need to adequately address climate change. It’s therefore critical that as many Global South voices as possible are inside the negotiations to shape the outcomes towards climate justice.

The COP26 Coalition is an international civil society coalition of groups and individuals organising towards mobilising around climate justice during COP26. XR Scotland is a member of the Coalition.