Campaigners ‘losing trust in COP’, says leading activistTue, 12 Dec 2023 13:00:35 GMT

Environmental campaigners are losing faith in the UN-led COP climate process after signs that a phase-out of fossil fuels may not be agreed in Dubai, a leading activist said on Tuesday.Uganda’s Vanessa Nakate, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, said activists were tired of being disappointed at the annual United Nations conferences to battle climate change.She was speaking after the latest COP28 draft agreement dropped any mention of winding down fossil fuels, speaking only of a potential reduction in consumption and production.”It can be tiring to keep coming to these places and to be constantly disappointed by the decisions that are made,” the 27-year-old told a press conference.”For this COP to be truly a success, it has to address fossil fuels. “If leaders fail to address the root cause of the climate crisis after 28 years of climate conferences, then they aren’t only failing us, but they’re making us lose trust in the entire COP process.”Nakate’s comments are reminiscent of 20-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who famously dismissed world leaders’ promises on climate change as just “blah, blah, blah”. Thunberg, who in January said it was “ridiculous” that the United Arab Emirates’ state oil company chief was the COP28 president, last attended a COP summit in 2021.Some activists were in tears over the latest text. Joseph Sikulu of Pacific Island Warriors took several seconds to compose himself before addressing the press conference with tears rolling down his cheeks.Nakate said: “What is happening here is unacceptable. What is happening is unjust. What is happening is unfair.””This text that we saw yesterday is sinking the lifeboat for humanity,” she added, calling it a “death sentence for communities”.”We know that in this case, there are over 2,400 fossil fuel lobbyists that have a lot of control and power over this process,” said the Ugandan. “And we must call out that sabotage, we must call out the power. We must hold the fossil fuel companies accountable for the climate crisis.””Some people might say that if you are discussing how to cure malaria, you don’t invite the mosquitoes,” Nakate added.