Another year, another COP, or rather COPs, the Climate COP and the Biodiversity COP.
With record-breaking draughts even in normally green, damp, Wales, and fires that raged in the south of England, you would think our minds would be focused on immediate action. But it’s still all words, words and no action.
Several European countries have now withdrawn from the Oil Charter, a treaty which has allowed big multinational companies such as Shell to pressure governments to allow the continued extraction of oil and gas. The EU even said:
“EU energy diplomacy will discourage all further investments into fossil fuel based energy infrastructure projects..’
And then ruined it by adding ‘unless they are fully consistent with an ambitious, clearly defined pathway towards climate neutrality in line with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and best available science”.
It would be laughable if it were not so tragic.
The best available science has told us we are unlikely to stay below 2.5 degrees of global warming, a terrifying prospect. Not just for us humans, whose inventive monkey brains have, alas, brought us to this low point. The WWF Living Planet report for 2022 states: A warming of 1.5 degrees will result in a loss of 70-90% of warm-water corals, and a 2 degrees warming will result in a loss of more than 99%. Biodiversity around the world is crashing at a startling rate, with global wildlife populations diminishing by 69% in the last 48 years.
And yet, progress to conserve and restore biodiversity has largely failed in all countries. The report acknowledges that it is indigenous peoples who should be guiding the rest of the world, not governments concerned with hanging onto temporary political power and spending money on lethal weapons to speed up the destruction.
All over the world governments’ commitment to ‘economic growth’ is killing the planet and the amazing life that has evolved here since the last Ice Age…and although there’s some billions of years left for entirely new life forms to evolve, what a shame to end this particular geological era so abruptly. It is so startlingly beautiful.
We have to do all we can, politically, personally and in community, to shift our human-centred dystopic perspective to one that values all life. Including slugs, yes!