Kang Minjin of the Justice Party of Korea at COP26 in Glasgow, 6 November 2021. Photograph by Hwang Jeongeun.
Greeting from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.
Nothing useful seemed to emerge from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP26 this week. The leaders of developed countries made tired speeches about their commitment to reversing the climate catastrophe. Their words rang with the clichés of spin doctors, their sincerity zero, their actual commitments to lowering carbon emissions nil. Mitzi Jonelle Tan, a Filipino climate activist and spokesperson for Fridays for Future, said that these leaders ‘spew empty, tired promises’, leaving young people like her with a ‘sense of betrayal’. As a child, she said, she felt the danger of being caught up in flash floods in the Philippines, floods that have terrible repercussions for high-risk countries. ‘There’s a climate trauma that young people experience’, said Tan, ‘yet the UNFCCC keeps us out’.