On December 11th, the eve of the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, Extinction Rebellion launched ‘COP26: We Are Watching You,’ a series of global synchronised projections drawing attention to the lack of action, missed ambitions and broken promises from world leaders.
Over several nights, a video was projected in 14 cities across the globe including Paris, Glasgow, Washington, Buenos Aires, Mumbai and London. The video carried the message: “COP26: We Are Watching You. Don’t Let Us Down.” The groups intend to raise awareness to issues in COP26 every month in the lead up to the Glasgow summit to offer a message of community and courage during these dark times. The message hopes to stress the deeply interconnected humanitarian nature of the crisis, a crisis which will require all countries coming together to find solutions.
The project was developed by 20 countries, some of them already deeply affected by climate change. The video focuses on how complex and interconnected issues caused by climate change are disrupting food security, livelihoods and homes around the world. The action aims to highlight the role of COP26 in limiting climate breakdown and compelling governments to take stronger action towards this. Some famous landmarks that displayed the projections include the SEC in Glasgow where COP26 will be held, the Newseum a few blocks from the Capitol in Washington, government and embassy buildings in London, and the Obelisco in Argentina.
Cathy Allen from XRCOP stated: “The 25 meetings of COP have so far only achieved the Paris Agreement. Though a start in terms of coming together, the Paris Agreement is not nearly enough to protect humanity. The world is watching as time runs out. Fires, floods, sea level rise, heat waves, drought, food insecurity - all these are happening now. But just around the corner, we can see that much worse is coming. COP26 is a historic opportunity for a just and fair agreement to control climate heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The COP26 process is under global scrutiny.”
The aim of the Paris Agreement is (to) ‘strengthen the global response to climate change’ and ‘pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.50C above pre-industrial levels’. However, as Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General outlined on December 2, 2020, global increase in temperature is already 1.20C and rising. ‘In fact emissions are now 62% higher than they were at the start of COP negotiations in 1990…the world needs to decrease fossil fuel production by roughly 6 per cent every year between now and 2030. Instead the world is going in the opposite direction – planning an annual increase of 2 per cent.’ The Glasgow COP26 faces significant challenges as, currently, few countries, and no G20 country, have targets in line with a 1.5OC temperature rise. (https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/) In addition, the $100billion per year promised in the Paris Agreement for climate finance to vulnerable countries, is not being met.
For footage and photographs, see here
To see the video that was projected, see here (will be posted as of December 12)
For information on how to get involved, see here
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