In response to the conclusion of COP26 and the final text agreed, Global Witness Director of Campaigns, Seema Joshi, said:

“Despite the science, the energy, enthusiasm and passion of communities, activists, environmental defenders and NGOs both in Glasgow and across the world, global leaders at COP26 have failed to put people and the planet ahead of profits and vested corporate interests.  The fight to save humanity is on. In the words of Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate, anything above 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming will be a “death sentence” in many parts of the world, with indigenous communities, people of colour and the poorest being hit hardest.

“It is difficult not to conclude the global political system is broken when over 500 fossil fuel lobbyists were given access to COP26 and so many of those with the ideas and solutions for protecting our planet, including people whose lives and communities are already being devastated by the climate crisis, were left outside. We will not stop holding political leaders to account for the company they keep and the promises they make.

“We stand in solidarity and remain inspired by every climate activist, particularly those whose campaigning puts them at risk of reprisal. There is still hope for a better, more sustainable, more just future, but time is fast running out.”

"Today’s announcement now increases the urgency for action in every country around the world to step up and go beyond what has been achieved here - we must phase out fossil fuels, end the financing of destruction of tropical forests, hold business to account for their climate destructive practices and greenwash and end the persecution of those campaigning to protect the land.”

On phasing out fossil fuels, Gas Campaign Leader, Murray Worthy said:

“Three years ago, the IPCC stated that to limit warming to 1.5°C the world needs unprecedented, rapid and far-reaching transitions in the world’s energy systems, and this COP has failed to deliver that. We won’t applaud incremental progress that fails to deliver what the science says is needed and condemns future generations and those already on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

“Phasing out fossil fuels is essential to prevent the very worst impacts of the climate crisis, and despite the promises on international finance, subsidies, methane and coal, scant progress has been made. We don’t believe this will change until the poisonous influence of the fossil fuel industry, pushing delay and distraction, is removed from these talks. The UN must work urgently over the next year to put in place rules to prevent those that profit from the climate crisis undermining progress on tackling the greatest challenge the world faces.”