Skibbereen environmental activist Saoi O’Connor was centre stage at the Cop26 protest in Glasgow today, Saturday November 6th,
Holding aloft a sign that said ‘The Emperor has no Clothes,’ Saoi and other members of the Most Affected Peoples and Areas (MAPA) movement made the point that the Conference of the Parties is all show and no substance.
The movement is trying to raise awareness of the danger of a rise in global temperature at the international climate conference and how it is having the most impact on the most marginalised.
Saoi believes ‘there is almost nothing further to be achieved from these talks’ – something that she said is demonstrated by their swing towards making it ‘a giant publicity stunt.
‘Increasingly, climate negotiations are becoming a spectator sport,’ said Saoi, ‘because grassroots activists, frontline communities, and even ministerial delegations from the Most Affected Peoples and Areas, are still struggling to get in the door.’
Saoi pointed out that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is calling for a below two degrees global mean temperature rise, compared to pre-industrial levels, and to stay below 1.5.
‘But this half a degree distinction is,’ she insisted, ‘the difference between life and death for unfathomable numbers of people, communities and entire cultures, as well as plants, animal species and ecosystems.’