Neither COP28 nor individualistic approaches will solve the climate crisis. We need to buckle down for a long fight.

by Kwolanne Felix, Truthout

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) is underway this week in Dubai, amid urgent pressure for world leaders to strike a crucial consensus on a strong climate policy commitment.

It’s a nail-biting experience for climate activists as 2030 draws near, a critical goal post when emissions must be halved to have a real chance of averting catastrophic ecological tipping points that could lead to abrupt climate systems collapse. In these moments, I struggle, like many others, to reconcile the importance of individual action with its limitations in the face of political inertia. What’s the point of recycling or buying an electric vehicle if our world leaders can’t strike up a functional climate plan?

Climate activist at the White House continued their demonstration for a second day calling on President Biden to declare a Climate Crisis.

The emphasis on individual climate action over systemic change has a complex past. Terms like “carbon footprint” — a measurement of individual carbon emissions per person — were created by the fossil fuel industry. In the early 2000s, during a deplorable climate disinformation campaign led by the George W. Bush administration and Big Oil companies, the term was used as a way of displacing responsibility.

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