Empty words, no action: Cop26 has failed First Nations people

(The Guardian, 15 Nov 2021) Doors were slammed shut on Indigenous people in Glasgow, literally and figuratively. Now it’s time not just to open them, but to tear them down.

Cop26 is officially over, and my time in Glasgow almost at an end. I was at the forum to represent my community and to stand up for First Nations people who are leading global movements for climate justice. I was cautiously optimistic about what could be achieved.

Instead, at this supposedly historic event, I saw a conference that relied on dated colonial constructs and ignored Indigenous people. I watched the Australian pavilion used to promote gas and carbon capture and storage, sponsored by corporations such as Santos. Outnumbered by fossil fuel lobbyists, First Nations people witnessed an aggressive big business approach to climate negotiations, hardly the turning away from and permanent closure of extractive, polluting industries that we are all calling for.

And I saw a lot of talk. Countries said they would be ambitious, but without implementation by all governments at all levels, these are just empty words when we desperately need action.

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The Guardian, 15 Nov 2021: Empty words, no action: Cop26 has failed First Nations people