Interview by C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout

The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which takes place in Glasgow from October 31-November 12, will bring together more than 120 world leaders for 12 days of talks aimed at forming an agreement on how to tackle the climate emergency. The expectation is that countries will produce 2030 emissions reductions targets that will secure global net zero by 2050. For that to happen, the phase-out of coal must be accelerated, deforestation must be curtailed and investment in green energy must rise significantly.

The urgency for action at COP26 cannot be overstated. We are running out of chances to save the planet from a climate catastrophe. But in order for the stated goals of COP26 to be attained, it is imperative that narrow views of national interest be put aside and great powers steer clear of geopolitical confrontations. Indeed, without international cooperation, the continued use of fossil fuels is set to drive societies across the globe into climate chaos and collapse.

Robert Pollin and Noam Chomsky against a green and black backdrop
Photo by User:Σ

So, what can we expect from COP26? Definite action or, as Greta Thunberg recently put it, more “blah, blah, blah?” In this expansive and eye-opening interview, leading scholars Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin share their thoughts and insights about the upcoming global climate summit and what must ultimately be done to save humanity and the planet from a global climate catastrophe. Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT and currently Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. Chomsky, one of the most cited scholars in history and long considered one of the U.S.’s voices of conscience, is joined by one of the world’s leading economists of the left, Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Chomsky and Pollin are co-authors of the recently published book Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy to Save the Planet.

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