Catharsis or Not, We Are Moving Forward Together
November 2021 | Special Report
COP26 Report from Architecture 2030’s Senior Fellow and COP delegate Carl Elefante FAIA:
“As Week 1 of COP26 drew to a close, both participants and observers were already assessing its totality. Have expectations been met? Are governments making actionable commitments? Are those commitments sufficiently ambitious? Have non-government actors played their part? Are the partnerships being forged strong enough to take on the enormous challenges we face?
Many are hungry for catharsis, an electrifying flashpoint at which future generations can look back and say: “At Glasgow, that’s when the world rallied to end the climate catastrophe.” Deep in my heart, I too yearn for a moment of triumph.
And yet, it feels rather too Shakespearean. Was the Paris Summit the battle of Agincourt? Or is it Glasgow? Frankly, neither. The battle and warfare metaphors do not fit. We are waging peace here in Glasgow, a real peace, a lasting peace, a just peace.
Deliverance from the climate crisis may be better served by quieter transformations. Another week of COP remains, to discuss and debate, to clarify and extend understanding, to reinforce relationships and establish new ones. Afterwards, the greatest COP impact will occur if we all return to our homes, workplaces, and communities changed and prepared to serve as change agents.
In my field, our field, we know what to do and how to do it. Our commitment is to be the change every day, on every project, in every action. Catharsis or not, COP26 has gotten us moving forward together. That matters most.”
Updates on Critical COP Outcomes
More than 40 countries have agreed to phase out their use of coal-fired power, the dirtiest fuel source, in a boost to UK hopes of a deal to “keep 1.5C alive”.
Protesters pour into the streets of Glasgow, more than 100,000 march.
COP26 coalition worth $130 trillion vows to put climate at heart of finance. A critique of the pledge here.
Architecture 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the built environment from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central solution to the climate crisis.
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