Written by Skye
Coalition has continued to meet since the Glasgow Summit in November last year,
and on 19th February there was a whole day of discussion about the future of
the movement. The framing for the discussion was that Glasgow last year was
just the start of the network’s activity, and that the work needed to build an
effective climate movement on these islands should be continued and enhanced.
There was a tremendous enthusiasm about the action and work that is being undertaken by the Coalition, despite the recognition that the COP26 summit was a failure and did not bring the action on climate change needed from our so-called world leaders. People from all corners of Britain, and the world, including the Caribbean and Africa participated in the COP26 Coalition meetings.
attempts of network building by Green Left, however, including its involvement
of the Ecosocialist Alliance, there was a noticeable absence in the COP26
Coalition meetings, of anyone involved in Green parties, of either Scotland, or
England and Wales. This doesn't necessarily mean that there weren't Green Party
members present - but it was difficult to discover the presence of fellow Green
After a brief
introduction to the COP26 Coalition, there were discussions around the
difference between organising and mobilising a diversity of tactics, as well as
regional exercises to build up COP26 local hubs and the wider climate justice
The day then
closed with an online rally for the year ahead, titled 'Movement Building &
Collective Strategies', with speakers from Fridays for Future Scotland,
Campaign Against Climate Change, Landworkers Alliance, as well as youth
activist Aoife Mercedes Rodriguez-Uruchurtu from YouthStrike4Climate Manchester
was able to say something quite different to the others, but without
disagreement of any kind, which was a sign of the diversity of the COP26
Coalition movement, and arguably, also its strength.
So, what is
next for the COP26 Coalition? As the UK holds the presidency of COP26 until the
start of COP27, it is still important to keep climate change on the agenda,
just as it always has, but especially if we want to see continued action while
the UK is in its current global position on it. There is also the matter of
building towards COP27, despite it being in Egypt, where post-Arab Spring
oppression has been brutal.
for the COP26 Coalition covers the following areas:
local capacity by supporting the 'local hubs' to continue to organise locally
and to aim to bring other climate campaigns and campaigners together through
taking action and the target mapping.
2. Continue to
hold events, such as mass gatherings, to build up, and share, useful skills and
to learn more from each other e.g., on tactics and other ideas.
3. To continue
to put pressure, where possible, on our leaders, for meaningful action on
4. To share
relevant experience of organising together as the baton for the summit itself
is now being passed to Egyptian climate organisers.
While many of
us in the Green Party will now be looking to the local elections in May, it
might be worth also reaching out to COP26 Coalition groups in our areas, to see
how it might be possible to work together for an opportunity to strengthen the
The politics of
the participants in the meetings of the 19th February feel like a good fit to
those that I have already found among Green Left activists (despite being
involved for a relatively short amount of time), so there should be no real
practical or ideological barriers to connecting our movements more, and I would
argue that Green Left is in a fairly unique position to be able to bridge what
seems to be a divide between the Green Party of England and Wales, and the
broader climate movement, of which the COP26 Coalition is arguably closest to
us at the present moment.
Even if our
personal capacity is an obstacle to involvement in the run-up to the local
elections, let us somehow at least make a resolve now to connect these
struggles once the elections are over.
Coalition Trade Union Caucus also meets online on the 3rd Tuesday of the month
and is well worth being explored by any rank and file trade union organisers.
To find out
more about the COP26 Coalition you can visit their website at https://cop26coalition.org/
Skye Pepier is a member of Tower Hamlets Green Party and a Green Left supporter.