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The Oxfordshire COP 26 Climate Alliance

Oxford Friends of the Earth is a thriving and effective local group that has been active for over 40 years. Our purpose is to work together to promote a healthy and sustainable environment

COP26 – One month to go!

The UN COP26 climate conference is less than a month away. While politicians argue over possible agreements people in the UK and across the world are planning to make their voices heard in many different ways.  Actions are planned here in Oxfordshire and you can join or take action in your own community, workplace, school or college.  We need the politicians to know that we are watching and that failure cannot be an option!

This page has been set up for the Oxfordshire COP 26 Climate Alliance – see here for info.on how to join

Sat. 6th November – the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice

Saturday 6th November will be halfway through the COP 26 event. Previously there have been huge demonstrations outside COPs at this stage. The COVID crisis has led to changes and instead there is the Global Day of Action with events everywhere across the world..

There will a March and Rally in Oxford, starting at Manzil Way on the Cowley Rd (1pm to leave at 1:30) and finishing with a rally in Broad Street.  PLEASE JOIN US!

‘Feeder marches’ to this to join this march from different parts of Oxford would be welcome. Other ideas include cycle rides from different towns across the county.

Oxford FoE has helped draw together the organising group. This could and should be Oxford’s biggest-ever climate action. Can you help make this happen? Email climate@oxfoe.co.uk with ‘Nov. 6’ in the subject line if you can help in any way.

Sat. 6th November:  Stand Up for climate justice.

Not everyone will be able to make the event in Oxford, and those that do may also want to show their concern in their own neighbourhood.

We suggest that at 11am people across the county organise a group of people wherever they are to stand up with a common banner or similar, take the photo with the banner message and send it to the Prime Minister, share it widely on social media, and add it to an online display wall.

People could do this outside a community centre, college, or faith building, or on a village green, or in front of an Oxfordshire landmark – maybe on top of White Horse Hill, at the Rollright Stones, Banbury Cross, or simply outside a local pub.

This will rapidly build a simple and strong visual display of action across the county – ideal for local media.  A ‘Twitter / Instagram storm’ will help build awareness of the day and encourage more people to join the march or other linked events. The 11am timing will give people ample time to get to the march in Oxford.    Register at https://actionnetwork.org/events/sat-6th-november-stand-up-for-our-future/

If you’d like to be involved and we’ll send details, banner ideas, how to share etc.

Raise your Banners for Climate Justice – Monday 1 November

On Monday 1st Nov the COP26 Coalition invite you to Raise the Banners for Climate Justice! This is the day that world leaders will start the meeting in Glasgow. This action is for everyone – if you plan to attend the global day of action for climate justice on Nov. 6th, bring your banner along. Even if you are not coming, hang your banner outside your house or workplace on Nov 1. This is the brilliant way to make our voices heard. Let’s make sure government leaders can’t miss our demands for climate justice.  Our aim is to cover the streets of Glasgow and the UK on November 1 with banners that have YOUR messages of climate justice!

Step 1: Make your own at home or join together with others in your community to create banners.  For guidance on banner making see: https://shtiggy.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/diy_bannerguide_july2017_by_stig.pdf

Step 2: Hang a banner from your window, or outside your school, work place, church or another public space. 

If you are not from Glasgow but would like your message to be hung in the streets of the host city, you can send your banner.  ​​They would need to receive the banner by Friday 29th October. So please send it by no later than Monday 25th, to factor in delays in the post.  Address: COP26 Coalition, 204 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4HW.

LET’S PLANT A BILLION SEEDS TOGETHER

You are invited to take the Billion Seed Challenge to help us create a lasting legacy, just like the decisions that must be made by Boris Johnson and other world leaders at COP26.

Plant at any point in October, or join a UK wide plant-a-long on 30 October, the day before COP26. Get together with your community and plant wildflowers to green up your local area and show that you believe that the decisions made at the UN Climate Summit will make a difference.

As part of the Billion Seed Challenge, Homebase are providing 50% off all seeds in their stores. These seeds will be ready to bloom next spring as a reminder to politicians that the public believes that a healthier, greener, fairer world is possible – and we will be watching to ensure they carve a clear path to a future that works for everyone.

More details on this shortly.  Don’t forget to also share your planting activity with us on social media using #TheFightThatUnites and #BillionSeedChallenge

The night(mare) before COP26! 

There have been proposals for a vigil in central Oxford the night before COP starts. This could be in Broad St or Bonn Square. It’s not clear at present how this may be organised but it could feed into local news coverage on Monday morning as the COP starts.

And the night before COP is Oct. 31st – Halloween!  If you want something really scary then a post-climate-crisis apocalypse could be just the thing.  Any ideas for Thriller-style actions?

We’ll do another update like this before COP – please send us details of your actions and any other ideas – email:  climate@oxfoe.co.uk

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COP26 – we need action and leadership:
Please write to your MP now!

This recent article shows that despite a lot of upbeat talk, the UK government is not making adequate process on the COP26 conference:  

https://www.politico.eu/article/visionless-cop26-hit-by-lack-of-political-leadership/

As conference president the UK has the responsibility to set the agenda and to create momentum now to lead to a successful event.  We need action now.

There is a letter here:  MP letter file  – you can read it below – that is designed to go to your MPs as a first step in our lobbying work to emphasise the need for our government to get its’ act together now.   If you don’t know your MP’s contact details use this site: https://www.writetothem.com/

This is a ‘template’ letter – you can personalise it, edit it if you wish,  and add your own points. But please keep the key message clear, and please send it as soon as possible!

Dear (MP name)

I am writing with regard to the UN COP26 Climate Change conference.  Boris Johnson has stated that he wants COP26 to be a ‘landmark’.  The U.K. – as the host for the conference -has a clear mandate to deliver real progress and the U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has called the conference “our last, best hope” to hold warming at 1.5 degrees.

I am very worried that at present the agenda and proposed specific outcomes are poorly defined and unclear.   There must be formal legal negotiations at the COP on issues such as the rules for international trading of carbon credits. But if the conference is really to deliver progress and be seen as a success, then the agenda must make space for decisions on key issues of concern such as

  • A green recovery plan
  • A global phase-out of coal
  • Clear new climate goals that keep us in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement
  • Climate finance for poorer countries

At the moment there is no clarity on how these issues will be tackled but the conference is just eight months way and pre-negotiations are starting.

There appears to be a real lack of political leadership and clear decision-making. I would urge you to write to Alok Sharma – the Minister responsible – and the Prime Minister, asking the P.M. to step up to move this process forward, to create a strong package of measures for discussion, and to ensure that the agenda for COP26 creates the opportunity for the world’s leaders to agree an accelerated just transition to a zero carbon economy. It is also important that the UK leads by example – support for projects such as the proposed new coal mine in Cumbria sends a negative and problematic message.

The UK has this one huge opportunity to play a leading role in the global fight against the climate crisis, but if that is to happen then action is needed now. A failed conference will be a disaster for us all.  Please express these concerns to the Ministers.

Best wishes……