Cop26 will be ‘rich nations stitch-up’ if poorer countries kept away by Covid

(The Guardian, 7 Sep 2021) Environmental activists demand delay to Glasgow climate talks if costs and travel restrictions block attendance of those worst-hit.

The Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow should be postponed until the government can ensure that the talks won’t be a “rich nations stitch-up”, a diverse coalition of international organisations has said.

With less than two months to go before the talks, the Climate Action Network (CAN), a global alliance of more than 1,500 civil society organisations, is warning that many delegates from the global south will be unable to attend due to vaccine inequity and prohibitive quarantine costs.

“Our concern is that those countries most deeply affected by the climate crisis and the countries suffering from the artificial shortage created around vaccines will be conspicuous in Cop26 – by their absence,” said Tasneem Essop, executive director of CAN, in a statement.

“There has always been an inherent power imbalance between rich and poor nations within the UN climate talks and this is now compounded by the health crisis. Looking at the current timeline for Cop26 and the logistical challenges, it is difficult to imagine fair participation from the global south under safe conditions and it should therefore be postponed.”

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The Guardian, 7 Sep 2021: Cop26 will be ‘rich nations stitch-up’ if poorer countries kept away by Covid