For those who don't know, (and I didn't until I looked it up on Google earlier this week) COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and the "Parties" are the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) way back in 1994. COP26 is Parties' 26th annual conference.
Although I acknowledge that, along with, arguably ahead of, world poverty and the erosion of Liberal Democracy, the climate crisis is one of the biggest problems the world faces today, I don't claim any in-depth knowledge of the issues involved. I acknowledge that if we are to avert disaster we need a serious modification of our lifestyles, from the trivial eating less meat to flying less, banning barbecues and hot tubs, insulating our houses properly, planting more trees and getting our energy from non-polluting renewable resources.
However, here are two dodges to watch out for when COP26 meets in Glasgow in a few days..
These are Investor-State Dispute Settlement courts. They meet in secret and there is no appeal against their decisions. They enable a company with investments in a country to sue the government of that country if the government makes a decision which appears to affect the company's income or future prospects.
Here's just one example.
A British company called Rockhopper has been exploring the Adriatic coast of Italy in search of oil. As part of its commitment to averting the climate crisis (and to preserve the beauty of the coast) the Italian government has banned all oil exploration within 20km of the coast. Rockhopper is suing the government for $350m, seven times what it has actually spent so far on exploration, but an estimate of its lost profits.
ISDS "trials" should be made open, and ISDS rules modified, in some cases overturned, in view of the pending global crisis.
At an earlier COP the (wealthy) OECD countries (mainly responsible for the current crisis) promised the Global South umpteen billions to enable them to achieve the more sustainable growth which would not add to further carbon emissions and pollution. This was meant to be new and additional money, but, in the UK at least, has often been simply a transfer from the exiting Aid Budget (even before it was slashed from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP by the Johnson government.
Further and better particulars of the above, and other dodges, can be found from Global Justice Now.
There are hints that there many be examples of similar dodgy accounting in Mr Sunak's budget next week