MA: It's why we hear Boris Johnson, talking about coal, cash, cars and trees, and that cash being that 100 billion dollars and getting the developed world to actually fulfil those commitments.
Tanya, I mean for your clients for example, why should the average South African care about COP26? This seems to be something of an esoteric issue amongst climate nerds and climate financiers and geeks alike? Why should people care?
TDS: Well Michael, I guess I'm one of those climate nerds. You know, I've been following this climate conversation for more than 20 years now. And I've never seen the excitement and in the vibe around a COP, as you've seen with COP26.
So I think for me, that's really the defining difference with this COP. I remember going to COP11, I think it was 11 in Durban, which is 10 years ago, no one had a clue what it was about, the average person that I spoke to didn't know, it was oh some conference.
They couldn't tell you one thing about it, whereas now, every single stakeholder is engaged from government to industry, to clients, to staff, everyone wants to know, what is this about? What are our commitments?
What does it mean for us and how's it going to make any difference? So and I guess that for me is the most exciting part because so many COPs have come and gone, and not much happened.
And yet, I think this is the COP that will be probably the most defining COP. There seems to be genuine commitment across all stakeholders that this time things will change, this time things will be different.
MA: Well, let's hope we can get off of that red list so many people who do want to go are not forced into 10 days of quarantine and all the rest of it to get there.
And I'm sure that's important. I see you nodding Melissa, for the NGO sector very often has to operate on a shoestring budget. What role do you see for NGOs playing, heading into COP26 at the discussions?
MF: Yeah, I think that thanks Michael. I think that civil society has a major role to play here, and have already played a major role in the run-up to the COP.
I mean, I think it's important, it's correct what Tanya says that there is a lot of excitement and certainly we see this as an enormously and fast-changing space around climate change at the moment.
But at the same time, we also have to acknowledge that we are actually in a massive crisis, and the crisis is only intensifying. We saw the IPCC report released last month, and we know that things are happening much faster and with greater intensity than had been predicted.
And so this really, from a civil society point of view, looking globally, this is really a matter of life or death for many millions of people across the planet.
And so for the climate justice movement globally, there are a number of key issues that we want to see resolved at COP.
The first one is the issue of loss and damage and so this really relates to the cost that developing countries already have to bear as a result of past and existing climate impacts as a result of the actions of developed countries over the decades.
And so this includes the less visible impacts of climate change, the slow onset through sea-level rise through prolonged drought-like we see here in South Africa. And we talking about major losses and damages, many developing countries don't have the resources to deal with this.
And so we want to see out of this COP that developing countries providing the scale of funding for developing countries to address these costs and it's really to become a key conversation and a decision point at COP26.
And then the other huge issue for us is the issue of fossil fuels. I might be stating the obvious, but the NDCs on the table as we know as Olivia's alluded to is that we are not sufficient for us to meet 1.5-degree trajectory.
And so many of those NDCs also don't deal adequately with the actual phase-out of fossil fuels and with the issue of no new investments in any fossil fuels including oil and gas.
And so right now we see rich countries like the UK talking about the coal phase-out, but they're still issuing licenses for oil and gas and if this process is going to have any legitimacy this has to end.
We of course also support the South African government and Minister Creecy's efforts around increasing climate finance commitments, many developing countries don't have the fiscal space in the context of existing debt burden plus pandemic plus climate change to deal with these issues.
And of course, also the issues around adaptation and the way that adaptation has sort of taken a bit of a backseat over the last few years, we really want to see those issues coming to the fore in this COP.