COP26 branded exclusionary by Climate Action Network over COVID-19 and vaccines The global coalition of organizations claims there is a 'power balance' between richer and poorer countries - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.

UK Government Urged To Postpone COP26 As Countries Left Out Due To COVID-19

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The highly-anticipated UN Climate Change Conference, aka COP26, is taking place at the end of next month. Among calls for this year’s UK hosts to establish an exclusively plant-based menu, leading organizations are now pressing for the event to be postponed.

This is because the UK is ‘leaving out’ pooer countries on the COVID-19 red list banning travel. 

As a result, Climate Action Network (CAN) says countries ‘most deeply affected’ by the climate crisis won’t be able to take part in the discussion.

COP26 postpone calls over ‘exclusion’

The global network of over 1,500 organizations is branding the move exclusionary. This is especially because the climate change issues that will be discussed at this year’s COP26 event in Glasgow are at the forefront of many developing countries.

Climate finance, loss, and damage are among the topics to be covered.

Due to the red list, representatives will be unable to attend in person. Countries currently on the list include Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Egypt, and Turkey.

The exclusion of red-listed countries poses ‘long-lasting implications’ on climate change deliberations, the organization presses.

CAN Executive Director Tasneem Essop said: “There has always been an inherent power imbalance within the UN climate talks, between rich nations and poorer nations. 

“And this is now compounded by the health crisis. Looking at the current timeline for COP26, it is difficult to imagine there can be fair participation from the Global South under safe conditions. And, it should therefore be postponed.”

COVID-19 vaccines

While it isn’t vegan, The Vegan Society posted a statement encouraging vegans to take the vaccine

The organization also notes that these countries are suffering from a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines.

Advocates have been calling for ‘vaccine equality’ all year. Moreover, it called out the UK for a patent waiver back in June.

Essop added: “Our fight for climate justice and our efforts to hold those in power accountable cannot be delinked from the root causes that continue to perpetuate such inequality and injustice.

“The UN climate talks are important. But, against the current context of vaccine apartheid, they simply cannot proceed by locking out the voices of those who especially need to be heard at this time.”

The postponement calls are not an implication that climate crisis talks are not important, CAN stresses. However, it says a ‘truly inclusive’ event is paramount.

You can find out more about the Climate Action Network here

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The Author

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.

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