Phil Plumley
3 min readJan 16, 2022

The COP 26 brought more people from more walks of life than any other COP I can recall of ever did.

There were talks about the cost of it for participants being unfair for smaller countries, and different NGOs united to find a way have their voice supported and heard. One of the arguments was the cost for developing countries being excessive and that it was all driven and to the benefit of the already leading economies.

Perhaps even more people than ever had heard of the COP with COP 26, people felt there was a sense of common duty.

Needless to say, that after the reports being named CODE RED, expectations had been built. Most news networks had been building up with it not only to raise awareness but to underline the importance of the COP event as a way to come to unite and deal with the Climate Emergency.

In many ways, it was a very successful event that was being built up.

David Attenborough stated that it was the opportunity to be the event for a generation where things turned around. Actually the question he offered is whether ‘the COP 26 is the beginning? The point where as humans the right shift was made, or whether it was a fight as to decide what was going to be written on our Epitaph?’

The COP lasted beyond schedule and way past the last minute, the ending declaration was in an apologetic tone. Clearly the head of COP 26 was feeling and hearing the room. The goals that had been set out had not been reached. A compromise had been reached. Not the best, not the worst, but considering that the stakes were so high and that so many had been getting involved from whatever walk of life, this was falling short.

I was personally disapointed, as many. It would be easy to fall into cynicism. The question though was where was the disconnect between all of those who saw the climate emergency and the others? Is this another Brexit? I wondered.

The planet did not stop right there and then. In the words of some politicians this was a success, and in many ways a milestone in progress, the work goes on.

How do we relate though, all of those who did not feel heard?

While all is not totally over, one wished to push and pursue on the favorite line of action that Humans have over other species, namely: HOPE.

While we do wish and hope for better solutions, more action and perhaps simply walking the talk, there is an entire group of people feeling totally disconnected from leadership.

As usual humans like to delegate and find structures, so that we can delegate responsibility in some way. We are all on this same planet though.

This year, the COP 27 shall be in Egypt. Hopefully it will be getting even more attention, more urgency and examples of Climate Emergency shall be visible, and more countries shall be getting involved, more voices shall be heard… it is our duty to support it, and keep sharing the message. This is not a time to step back or step out. This is the time to support, and do more. This is a time to take responsibility, and to keep moving forward.

Phil Plumley

Environmentalist / Ocean Matters podcast / SDGs