Nancy Mancias, CODEPINK’s campaigner on the ground in Sharm El-Sheik for COP27, had a great conversation with moderators from the International Peace Bureau after her first day at the UN’s climate conference. Nancy shared her first impressions and what she anticipates the week will hold.
As Nancy says, COP27 is fraught with contradictions – it’s the conference with the most potential to galvanize international cooperation on climate change, but is sponsored by super-polluter Coca-Cola and held in a repressive regime that by some estimates has taken over 60,000 political prisoners since 2013.
Nancy is on the ground in COP to speak truth to power, learn what we’re up against in the fight for peace and climate justice, and to call out these contradictions as she sees them.
In this discussion with International Peace Bureau, Nancy touches on several of her early impressions that will define her time at COP27, and answers questions from callers.
She says there is an early understanding that this COP will be dominated by discussions of “loss and damages” – and the responsibility of wealthy, polluting nations to compensate for them financially. “Loss and damages” refers to the “destructive effects of climate change that can’t be avoided by mitigation and adaptation” – for example, think of the floods in Pakistan. For the first time, we are seeing a willingness on the part of some wealthy member states, like Scotland, to commit funds to compensate loss and damages in more vulnerable countries, though the US has remained silent on the matter.
However, Nancy aptly identifies that there is a real “disconnect between what people are saying and what is really happening…on the ground” at COP27. For example, Andrew Steer, the President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, claimed that the US and Canada are doing innovative work in addressing the needs of indigenous peoples – an outright greenwashing given the clear, violent violation of indigenous sovereignty by Enbridge and both nations’ governments during the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. There is no climate justice without indigenous justice, reparations, and accountability.
Nancy is looking forward to her next conversation with IPB this Saturday, Nov. 12th at 11AM ET to process her week at COP. Register to watch live here.