Where is the urgent action and justice?

After two weeks of talks, Neil Thorns, who was in Glasgow for the whole of COP26, says we're just not moving fast enough.

COP26 is a major disappointment to CAFOD’s partners working with poor communities – it simply hasn’t delivered the urgent action or justice required.


Instead, it has been pushed until 2022 to limit temperature increases to 1.5C and deliver the climate finance so desperately needed. For some this will be too late, which is simply not acceptable.


At this critical moment, when urgent action is needed to keep us within the dangerous 1.5 degree temperature rise, the COP26 talks have come up short. We are on a road with no turning back now.


The question is, are we travelling “far enough, fast enough and fairly enough” – to which the answer is no. Climate justice is not just a concept for some, it is what must be delivered.


We need to see concrete policies that match the promises made here to make real progress on reducing emissions by 2030. Countries must come back next year with greater ambition.



Neil Thorns is CAFOD's Director of Advocacy


Poor communities came to Glasgow with clear asks and shouldn’t have to compromise on the compensation owed to them from the rich countries who’ve caused the devastation to their homes, livelihoods and spiritual spaces.

Politicians have not had the honesty and courage to take responsibility for their actions. But the tide is turning. Countries at the frontline of the climate crisis are taking heart from the voices of young people and those on the streets and are pushing back on the vested interests who’ve dominated these talks for too long.


We welcome the real progress on ending financing for fossil fuels overseas which the UK government has championed, but it’s crucial we challenge the loopholes that are buried in these pledges and hold all signatories to account.”


The Catholic community has been a driving force in calling for climate justice. We will be redoubling our efforts to hold rich nations to account on ensuring that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable get the support they need.


We are emboldened by Pope Francis’s message shared at the start of the COP26 summit: “We need both hope and courage. Humanity possesses the wherewithal to effect this change.”

• More news from CAFOD about COP26