Staff initiatives have successfully cut emissions, but without serious infrastructure investment there’s nowhere left to go
If news reflected the magnitude of the planet’s crisis, one story would splash the headlines every day, filling every column inch, airtime minute and swipe of TikTok. Writing about anything else often seems trivial. Cop26 will briefly ignite the news, but for how long afterwards? Be grateful to Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain activists, who don’t give up, though they too need to keep finding new ways to capture public attention.
With the climate summit less than a fortnight away, the government’s inadequate “plan” for net zero shines a flickering light on how much more needs to be done. Cop26 risks exposing the weak will of the world’s leaders to take action. Far from holding to the vital 1.5C heating limit, the UN says cuts volunteered by countries so far will heat the world by 3C above pre-industrial levels: certain calamity. Commitments still fall 60% short of the 2050 net-zero target, needing $4tn investment this decade alone.
Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist