This is the story leading up to COP26. It is a tale of deceit, greed, stupidity, injustice, failure and cruelty by world governments and their corporate partners. The first COP meeting was in 1995. Since then, there have been 25 meetings. After nearly 40 years of warnings and 30 years of international climate negotiations, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have increased by over 50% since 1990.
On the road to COP26, Extinction Rebellion has been rebelling and protesting for most of the year. While we have rebelled, this summer has seen the IPCC’s frightening ‘code red for humanity’ report, another catastrophic wildfire season, floods from Germany to Cameroon, and apocalyptic droughts affecting millions in Syria, Argentina, and the world at large. The rapidity with which our life-support systems are buckling has shocked even seasoned climate scientists.
We’ve rattled them, out-argued them and exposed their empty climate rhetoric. After a year of astonishing and creative protest, we arrive at COP26.
How to rebel: Glasgow, global and local
Not everyone can make it to Glasgow. Accommodation is limited, covid is still with us and vaccine apartheid will prevent global rebels from travelling to Scotland.
But XR UK, XR COP and XR Scotland still want you and your groups to get involved wherever you are. We want you to design your actions and protests to suit your local circumstances using the themes below. Our COP26 rebellion will not just be on the streets of Glasgow but across the world.
The COP process is systematically corrupted by vested interests. It only serves injustice and failure. The main players at COP26, both government and business leaders, will be there to ensure there are no disruptions to the status quo. They will present false accounting, greenwashed credentials and fake climate policies.
So our actions must form around a charge based on truth. It is an accusation that cuts through the narrative that COP26 will solve the climate crisis. It won’t. We know COP26 is going to be the biggest ever greenwashing exercise by the world governments.
We accuse them of mass manslaughter by gross negligence.
The ever-worsening Climate and Ecological Emergency is a Crime Against Humanity perpetrated by the rich and powerful against the poor and vulnerable.
We charge the world’s most powerful governments with mass manslaughter by gross negligence.
Their duty is to protect us. The evidence confirms otherwise. Pick your theme, if you can’t come to Glasgow, the COP26 Rebellion still needs you. Go local and go digital. Let your action show the evidence of the world governments’ negligence and crimes against humanity.
Fossil fuels: emissions have taken our planet to dangerous temperatures.
Nature and biodiversity: their negligence has allowed destruction of nature to perilous levels.
Food security and farming: their negligence has allowed climate chaos to bring food insecurity to millions.
Ocean and water: their negligence has allowed our water systems to be destabilised, enabling industry to destroy the oceans, and fresh water for many millions to become scarce and polluted.
Loss and Damage / Climate finance: their negligence has allowed staggering inequality: those who cause most, benefit most while those who cause least bear the losses and irreversible damage. Yet those responsible for climate and environmental chaos refuse to fairly pay for any loss and damage, and put more money into fossil fuels and war than climate finance.
Marginalised voices and communities: their negligence has allowed the loss of people and whole communities to this destruction of climate and nature, and the murder of earth defenders.
Refugees and climate displacement: their negligence has allowed millions to be displaced by climate chaos and natural destruction. Climate refugees are the forgotten victims.
Arms, security and conflict: their negligence has allowed spending on arms to outstrip spending on solutions and they have created a brutal world where many face conflict over ravaged resources.
It could be different
We dream about how it could be different. It’s clear what a sane, fair and compassionate response to the climate emergency would look like and how COP26 could provide it.
Scottish law for civil disobedience
Scottish law is completely different to English, Welsh and Northern Irish law and the Scottish and Community Activist Legal Project (SCALP) have published resources on activism, Scottish law and the police. It will be useful to those in organising roles and legal support roles in and around protests and activism, as well as anyone wanting to know more about their rights. SCALP’S Guide to Activism, Scottish Law and the Police
We also cannot recommend strongly enough that you attend a Scotland-specific ‘Know your rights’ training before attending any actions in Scotland. Almost everything you learn for protesting in England can be completely ignored here. The next online know your rights trainings are: