LONDON, Sept. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Scotia Group made up of current and former diplomats, judges, lawyers, mediators, policy experts, academics, politicians, businesspeople, and community leaders today published an open letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres declaring a “diplomatic emergency alongside the climate emergency“.
Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, the Patron of the Scotia Group, said:
“If COP 26 cannot deliver rapid, permanent emissions reductions and the ability of citizens to enforce the promises their governments make, Scotia Group members question the purpose of further climate COPs.”
Howard Covington, the Chair of the Scotia Group Inception Commission, added:
“This is a rapidly gathering international crisis. Promises for action in the distant future are not a sufficient response. We may already need the continuous emergency diplomacy that is used in times of such crisis.”
The Scotia Group is proposing four ways COP 26 can bring real urgency into addressing the climate crisis:
- China and the US should seize this opportunity to act together for the good of humanity and agree to both a phased programme to close their existing coal-fired power plants, or to retrofit them with carbon capture technology, and a ban on the financing and construction of new coal plants.
- There is an urgent need for an energy transition diplomacy framework. Saudi Arabia should lead OPEC in halting new investment in additional oil production, a policy the US should support.
- Governments should both commit to facilitating a global $1 trillion energy transition fund to accelerate progress in cleantech investments and deliver on the $100 billion a year already promised by richer countries to poorer countries.
- An efficient and robust mechanism should be established to hold nations, institutions, companies, and communities accountable through domestic courts for the environmental pledges they have made.
Notes to Editors
- Howard Covington is also Chair of the Alan Turing Institute and of ClientEarth. A full list of Scotia Group members can be found here.
- The Scotia Group Statement of Urgency can be found here.
- The Scotia Group has hosted virtual ‘Climate Majlis’ dialogue sessions exploring a range of subjects relating to climate action and the rule of law with leading global institutions including, Harvard University, Oxford University and the International Bar Association. Further information can be found here.
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