So far, pressure from Indigenous Peoples and social movements has repeatedly prevented forests from being included in the carbon trading mechanism foreseen under the Paris Accord's Article Six.
On Tuesday, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) was dedicated to addressing issues related to the use of technologies, gender and climate. Despite the official rhetoric, environmental and social activists worry that the discussions still lie far from a framework of gender justice, while ignoring how certain technologies have an impact on nature and territories.
These tensions were identified by Indigenous Peoples delegates who staged a protest outside the 'Blue Zone.' They pointed to the logging, mining, and fires that are destroying their rainforests and wetlands. They also condemned the neoliberal policies and governments that encourage such destruction, as reported by Ian Bruce and Sabrina Fernandes, correspondents for teleSUR in Glasgow.
Alongside the in-person People's Summit in Glasgow, the digital People's Summit was carried out. Coordinated by a tiny team out of the offices of the COP26 Coalition, it has 70 online panels and debates in 14 languages. This was a discussion on how to build a Global Green New Deal, with speakers from Asia, Africa and the Americas, including U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Inside the COP26 negotiations, the discussion of the "Article Six" caused conflict. This article, which is a part of the Paris Accord that still has not been agreed, is meant to regulate "carbon markets," a mechanism that would allow big polluters to offset their emissions. So far, pressure from Indigenous Peoples and social movements has repeatedly prevented forests from being included in the carbon trading mechanism foreseen under Article Six.
"Mother Earth has given us everything, but we are destroying her"— COP26 (@COP26) November 9, 2021
Indigenous Peoples protect more than 80% of the world's biodiversity.
Their knowledge is vital in our fight against climate change.
Listen to their powerful messages from #COP26 ��#ClimateAction pic.twitter.com/kwqYeonqAC
But now, at the COP in Glasgow, there is a renewed push by developed countries and corporations to allow forests to be reduced to carbon credits to be effectively bought and sold by polluters, in order to avoid making the emission cuts that the climate needs, as Maureen Santos, the police officer of the Brazil's Federation of Organizations for Social and Educational Assistance (FASE), explained.
Given that the degradation of ecosystems notoriously affects the most vulnerable social groups, Mexico's Environmental Minister Maria Albores vindicated the importance of the gender approach and the rights of indigenous peoples being explicitly addressed in the COP26 summit negotiations.
"The environmental crisis and deep social inequalities show us how we have left behind those who need us most," she said, emphasizing that Mexico considers people's rights and the sustainable use of natural resources as "non-negotiable" issues.