News - 15 November 2021

One Aussie's COP26 exhibition success

We recently helped set up an exhibition in Glasgow during the COP26 climate summit. The exhibition at the city's beautiful Mitchell Library, not far from the conference, highlighted Australia's biodiversity crisis with stories and facts. Caroline, who organised the exhibition, sent us this report from what was an action-packed week.

The exhibition took place at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

Thank you so much for all your help and support in setting up our ’The Koala is the Canary' display in Glasgow during COP26. The captioned photos were perfect. Thank you also for contacting your supporters for help. For instance, wonderful Petria travelled down from the Highlands and was a very enthusiastic Koala helper.

It's been quite a couple of weeks here in Glasgow.

Everyone who saw the Australian pavilion at COP26, which touted fossil fuels and CCS [carbon capture and storage], ‘Positive energy the Australian Way’, were truly shocked. It was a bit like a stall selling guns at a peace conference! We also felt very ashamed when we heard that the Australian delegation were trying to weaken the agreement on ending coal and fossil fuel subsidies.

Our Australian display at the Glasgow Mitchell Library reinforced the growing realisation that Australia is a leader in ecocide and a laggard when it come to pulling its weight in reducing emissions. Clearly [the Australian Government's] COP26 offering of a target of net zero by 2050 ’The Australian Way ‘ was nothing more than a public relations exercise that contained no substance or specific plan of action!

Caroline & friends don the iconic koala suits at a climate rally in Glasgow.

Dressed in Koala suits, our small group of Aussies, got lots of attention at Greta Thunberg’s Friday’s for Future march in Glasgow on November 5th and the bigger climate justice march the following day. We were constantly posing for photos, asked for interviews and filmed by film crews from Korean and Japan amongst others.

Apart from the overwhelming disappointment at the lack of meaningful leadership from Australia, the atmosphere at COP26 was exciting and extremely positive. Many new start-ups were there spruiking their wonderful sustainable innovations while better known, established companies shared their journey towards ‘circularity’ and their attempts to include more sharing, reusing, repairing and recycling within their manufacturing processes.

It is inspiring being here in Europe at the moment as it really feels like we are on the cusp of big change. I believe the big end of town, here at least, has seen the light and will drive change and new innovation that will help protect biodiversity and lead us towards a more sustainable world economy. It is not all doom and gloom, but if Australia doesn’t get a move on it is going to miss the boat! Let's hope we see more than a 'phase down’ of coal, as anything much above 1.5C warming is going to be totally disastrous for the Australian ecosystem.