A statement from the Global Greens COP26 Delegates

Week one at COP26 received international coverage for the chaos experienced by delegates and observers. As your representatives for the Global Greens we experienced stark inaccessibility to the venue, and it’s been difficult to engage in the process to the depths that we had hoped.

To begin with, two of our delegates were absent from the conference due to vaccine and visa inequalities. This affected the richness of our incredibly representative delegation, with delegates Rwandan Greens Member of Parliament, Frank Habineza and co-Convenor of the COP26 Working Group Anne Marie Bihirabake (Burundi) unable to attend and participate.

Snigdha Tiwari (Uttarakhand Parivartan Party – India), Alice Hubbard (Green Party England & Wales), Carla Piranda (Partido Verde Brazil)

As representatives of civil society, our access to negotiations has been limited. Days two and three of COP were solely focused on the World Leaders Summit, which happened entirely behind closed doors. Just four tickets were issued to represent the 10,000 NGO observers! Nothing was screened on the multiple TVs inside the venue during this time, and such was the lack of transparency, that those watching from home would have had better access to information.

Our role as Observers is essential in being able to adequately inform society of what is taking place at COP and this process of exclusion is unacceptable. Our access was further limited by the long queues that left delegates out in the blistering Glaswegian cold for hours.

Despite us not being able to access the Summit Leader’s speeches, we learned from many of our delegate counterparts that they were fed up with the outcomes and continued inaction.  And even though hundreds of billions of dollars of private investment worldwide has been allocated to help reach Net Zero, it will inevitably take the form of loans to third world countries.

Patrick Harvie (Scottish Greens), Martin Ogindo (Green Congress Kenya), Mohamed Awad (Egyptian Green Party)

There has been no mechanism to feed in our demands, and we are dependent upon the press as a form of communication.  This has proven to be ineffective and delivers another barrier for us. We have been working to understand the strategy of each country and to understand how successful they have been in meetings. Despite some targets, many have lacked ambition and beyond that, as delegates, we continue to distrust our leaders to deliver on their pledges.

World leaders are not adequately representing their countries and fail to act on the reality of the climate emergency. While they make ambitious pledges, they fail to back them up with clear pathways for achieving them. This situation is compounded by the fact that of there being no clear mechanism for civil society to feed into the discussions.

Despite the challenges, we have been creating transparency through our observations; working to communicate the gap in reality between the promises of leaders and their actions – particularly given the fact that they have not adhered to their promises of past COPs.

The main thing that is required of this COP is for world leaders to act with urgency and to commit to a reduction in emissions and provide a just transition to rebalance emissions.  As yet however, we are yet to witness any sense of alarm.

Snigdha Tiwari (Uttarakhand Parivartan Party – India), Jean Lambert (Green Party England & Wales)



Closing statement from our delegates:


Global Greens from all corners of the world arrived in Glasgow this November, marking the largest and most diverse Green presence ever at a COP. Over 100 greens from over 40 countries participated as part of observer delegations, and seven Green Environment Ministers were part of negotiations. We also welcomed the first Global Young Greens delegation to COP, who recently secured permanent accreditation. In parallel, the Green Hub, co-hosted by the Green European Foundation, European Green Party and Scottish Green Party, became a catalyst for Green networking and dialogue in Glasgow, with more than 1500 Greens passing through its doors.

Now the international climate negotiations have come to an end, the Global Greens delegation can report on the lack of ambition in commitments made by world leaders. The agreement reached at COP26, coined the ‘Glasgow Climate Pact’, is unsatisfactory and weak at best. The decisions taken are still insufficient to keep the temperature at acceptable thresholds to avoid climate catastrophe and irreversible damage. Whilst we welcome the commitment to “phase down” oil and gas, we believe this language does not convey the necessary urgency to tackle the climate crisis. Fossil fuels need to be completely phased out.

Industrialised nations have failed countries most affected by the climate crisis, both in adaptation efforts and in establishing a ‘loss and damage’ finance mechanism. Countries of the Global North continue to break their word by deviating from the $100 billion dollar contribution promised years ago, and whilst there was nearly a breakthrough moment for loss and damage, in the final moments, it was watered down to simply holding a “workshop”. Once again, COP has failed those already living the impacts of the climate crisis, and those who will suffer the most as a consequence.

The process that began in Paris in 2015, which was already a mixture of miracle and disaster but undoubtedly a turning point, is still alive and moving in the right direction. However, such commitments and ambition would not exist without the pressure from youth and the most vulnerable countries. Those who have ensured that the pact appeals for greater climate ambition in line with, and beyond, the Paris Agreement.

For us to arrive on time to reverse the climate emergency, we can no longer walk, we have to run. It is crucial that we act in this decade; with each country ensuring quicker and more ambitious targets, expanding upon the best of Glasgow pact. Every fraction of a degree counts. Preparations for COP27 in Egypt must start now, and with a very clear demand: climate justice must be at the heart of any acceptable international climate agreement. Mechanisms also need to be applied to ensure that countries keep their promises. There is no going back.

The Global Greens delegation was proud to witness the strong Green presence during the summit, demonstrating the growing momentum we are experiencing worldwide. With more Greens entering government, we hope to further strengthen and expand our Global network – the only political force that can bring a united Global Green voice to COP27.

The Global Greens delegation would like to thank the people of Glasgow for opening their doors to delegates who faced a major accommodation shortage during the COP period – thank you for your hospitality! 

The delegation would also like to give thanks to the European Green Party for their financial assistance to help get Global South delegates to COP, and also to those that donated to the Global Greens fundraiser, which helped to provide vital subsistence support during delegates’ stay in Glasgow.