Indigenous community demands concrete decisions as Cop26 talks enter final push

·2-min read
The Cop26 climate summit is taking place in Glasgow (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
The Cop26 climate summit is taking place in Glasgow (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Decisive action needs to be agreed now to tackle climate change, a representative of indigenous people has said as talks at the Cop26 summit enter the final days.

Judy Ann Wilson, from the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, which is part of the Assembly of the First Nations delegation, raised concerns that members of indigenous communities are being marginalised at the summit.

She said she had been asked to leave a meeting because of Covid rules, due to a lack of seats for the state delegation.

Our indigenous people are at the front lines, we really need these voices in a lot of these decisions

Judy Ann Wilson, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

She also suggested a change to how the main meetings are run could help boost indigenous voices by taking interventions from the floor, as happens in other UN settings.

She told the PA news agency: “I got into one meeting and then part of one and then I got kicked out.

“When I say kicked out, I was asked to leave because of Covid rules. There were not enough seats for the state delegation itself.

“A lot are industry, state and government and our indigenous delegates are not really party to state meetings.”

Chief Wilson, who is from the Kamloops in British Columbia, Canada said “after travelling all this way” the communities have issues on loss and damage they want to raise and also want to push for changes on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which deals with carbon markets.

Chief Wilson said states and industry are “still leaving out indigenous people” from discussions on oil and gas and carbon markets.

She added: “We have important messages in regards to climate change.

“Our indigenous people are at the front lines, we really need these voices in a lot of these decisions about our land and our water and our trees that we are guardians of.”

She said she feels state governments are “wrangling” over decisions about action by 2030 or 2050, but “that’s a long ways away”.

She added: “We need to make decisive decisions now.”

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