Mike Dailly: How a man from Glasgow opened his house for free to COP26 delegates

ONE of the less uplifting aspects of COP26 was the sight of hotels and landlords in Glasgow on Airbnb delegates stripping away a fee of £ 600 to £ 2,000 per night for basic accommodation.

With 30,000 delegates arriving in the city and just 10,000 hotel rooms within two miles of the SEC, the financial abuse of delegates was perhaps to be expected. What chance would a COP26 delegate from a poorer country have of having a room in Glasgow?

Fortunately, many Glasgow residents had kinder hearts and participated in the Homestay Network which offered delegates a room in someone’s house for free or up to £ 30 per night.

Many locals organized free accommodation for COP26 delegates through their own

networks.

Danny Phillips lives in the Southside and has allowed some delegates from Kenya and Malawi to stay in our city for free. He said, “I have received so many free hosting offers. It was encouraging. In fact, I had too many offers. I was just a little appalled that so many people and businesses were taking advantage of it.

“I’m not against people who make money. But it’s not fair that rich countries get an advantage in these negotiations.

“Especially when climate change will have such a devastating effect on the poorest countries, especially in Africa. And, with people from all over the world staying with us, we’re having a great time. ”

One of these delegates is George Wamukoya, Co-Chair of the Partnership for Low Emission Development Strategies in Africa and Team Leader for Expert Support of the African Group of Negotiators.

George said: “COP26 comes against a backdrop of science showing that the world is on a dangerous path to global warming unless urgent action is taken by countries, especially developed countries and large emerging economies, such as China, India and Brazil to reduce greenhouse gases. emissions.

“Africa with low adaptive capacity is the most affected. For example, the Horn of Africa is currently experiencing a drought that has affected pastoral communities with the death of their livestock, thus losing their livelihoods. Kenya said the drought was a national disaster, forcing it to reallocate resources from providing other services to provide a safety net to affected communities.

Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries are classified as “industrialized”, “economies in transition” or “least developed countries” (LDCs). There are 49 LDCs in the world, including 33 African countries. LDCs enjoy special status under the UNFCCC, given their limited capacity to adapt to the effects of climate change.

The objective of COP26 is to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C as provided for in the Paris Agreement. For LDCs, this can only be achieved with financial support from the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF), which has a target of $ 100 billion per year.

Developed countries are required to provide financial and technical support through the GCF to LDCs to help facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation.

COP26 is so important because the Green Climate Fund has yet to materialize.

Jean-Paul Adam is Director of Climate Change at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Speaking to African Renewal last week, he said: “It is frankly absurd that we have trillions of dollars raised for pandemic-related stimulus measures, but the $ 100 billion has yet to be raised. been paid, yet as a percentage of the $ 20 trillion raised by developed countries. to fight against Covid-19 it is frankly negligible.

Without the $ 100 billion annual support for climate change, African countries will suffer the most from global warming.

David Obura, Director of Coastal Oceans Research and Development East Africa is in Glasgow for COP26.

David said: “Coral reefs are the global canary in the coal mine for climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has established that a temperature rise of 1.5 ° C is the limit to conserve 60 to 90% of the world’s coral reefs. From a climate perspective, if we save coral reefs, we save everything else on a global scale.

“People’s dependence on nature on a global scale will be compromised by climate change and loss of biodiversity.

“In Africa, so many people live in poverty and depend heavily on the productivity of the land.

“We need to solve the climate problems that cause the least damage to the climate, biodiversity and people. Nature-based solutions are of crucial importance. Climate finance needs to get down to the local level to support nature where people live. ”

For George, Africa arrives at COP26 with a clear message: “Developed countries must do more to face the climate emergency: keep the commitment to mobilize 100 billion dollars per year.

“We are very grateful to the Scots for the hospitality extended to the African participants at COP26. They opened their homes to provide free accommodation which helped delegates stay close to the conference and focus on negotiations.

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