The Reader: Two weeks of COP26 have done nothing

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Alok Sharma (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Alok Sharma (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Two weeks of COP26 results in world leaders proving once again that they are incapable of coming together to confront a threat to all humanity. The result of COP26 is a ringing endorsement for continuation of the damaging consumer capitalist model that has played such a part in creating the crisis in the first place. Yes, there are modifications, gestures, but will even these be realised when you look at the failure of past COPs to deliver real action?

Instead, we will continue with more floods, droughts and heat waves. Lands disappearing, with the poorest suffering most. Then, one day when climate and biodiversity loss are truly recognised as at pandemic levels, action will be taken. It will cost more, with the poorest suffering most, but that is where we are at after two weeks of blah, blah, blah.

Paul Donovan

Dear Paul,

The environmental costs of burning coal are not immediately paid, nor is the damage felt evenly. Therein lies the collective action problem. While COP did not deliver everything that was hoped for, it did represent progress. “Consumer capitalism”, turbocharged by the industrial revolution, led us to this crisis. The hope is, through new technologies and financial might, industrial revolution will get us out of it too.

Jack Kessler, Leader writer

Boris’s Ratcliffe blunder should not be forgotten

In the front-page article in yesterday’s Standard about Richard Ratcliffe’s hunger strike outside the Foreign Office to highlight his wife’s continued incarceration in Iran, one important point was missed out regarding why her sentence was increased. In 2017 our then foreign secretary’s unfounded comments about her “teaching journalism” directly attributed to Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s sentence being increased by the Iranian courts. Who was that foreign secretary? Boris Johnson! Lest we forget.

Rob Courtney

Dear Rob,

Boris Johnson’s comments when foreign secretary about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe “simply teaching people journalism” were certainly careless, particularly as her employer the Thomson Reuters Foundation and her family had repeatedly insisted she was not working in the country. The comments were used by the Iranian regime to haul her into an unscheduled court hearing and justify imprisoning her for spreading “propaganda against the regime”. But it has become clear she is being used as a pawn in a much wider game. Iran has detained other dual nationals on trumped up charges, seemingly over a £400million debt the UK owes. It appears these people will not be freed until that issue is sorted.

Rachael Burford, Political reporter

Will the Tories U-turn on Boris?

Boris Johnson has shown time and again that he knows when to cut his losses and perform a U-turn, no matter who needs to be sacrificed in the manoeuvre. One wonders if the rest of his party are as capable of demonstrating the same level of ruthless self-awareness or whether they’ll just continue to stick with their existing choice.

Julian Self

We must end reliance on coal

That India and China have watered down their coal pledges at COP26 cuts the ground from under the feet of practically every other country which is aware of the need to end reliance on coal. We must help developing countries who find difficulty in implementing the measures which are so obviously required. However, we may now need to look at the possibility of “eco-sanctions” to push environmental backsliders to take the crisis seriously.

Rev Andrew McLuskey

The government should pay debt to Iran to get Nazanin home

I just don’t know how the government have managed to ignore Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe for so long! They say all the right things and act sympathetic but do absolutely nothing. Pay back the money that is owed to Iran and bring her home, we owe them that money and she is an innocent pawn.

Lynn Smail

MPs should only be allowed front line second jobs

Generally MPs shouldn't be allowed to have second jobs but there should be a caveat allowing those who are qualified front line workers to do that where needed as some did during the last 18 months.

Jack Proud

Why is it so difficult to get a booster jab?

Rather than just urging readers to get the booster vaccine, I would like to see a piece on how difficult (almost impossible) it is in some places to get one? Case in point. I live in Kent and have been trying to secure a booking over the phone. As you can possibly gauge, this has been a nightmare and despite two weeks of constant attempts, I gave up. It was not possible to book though my surgery and the NHS didn’t contact me despite my first and second vaccines being logged. I did however find a walk in centre online, fairly close to where I live, but not convenient for the eldhaserly or disabled without a car. It was very well organised and I did manage to have my vaccine administered. I count myself lucky.

Sue Martin

Read More

Cop26 deal was very vague, climate activist Greta Thunberg says

Boris Johnson insists Cop26 is ‘tipping point’ for ending use of coal power

Johnson criticises countries for ‘dragging their heels’ on Paris pledges

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