COP26 and government policies aren’t necessarily going to stop environmental degradation instead focus should equally be falling on individual responsibilities and the activities of businesses. The activities of these aren’t necessarily going to be directly influenced by either the decisions of COP26 or government policies resulting from this conference.
Individuals and businesses both need to realise that they have responsibilities to the planet and it’s occupants. COP26 and government policies will not lead directly to change although it could be a step in the right direction but by itself it simply will not be enough. There are many obstacles in the way and I intend to outline some of the obstacles and offer some meaningful solutions that should be adopted and incorporated into business strategies to ensure less environmental pollution to the environment.
Firstly governments across the world will need to tighten up their involvement with businesses, exerting greater control on their activities to make sure that they are not exploitative or polluting and if so then they need greater powers to influence or curtail such activities. Also greater responsibilities should be placed on supermarket and other retail outlets to bring them into line with a share of responsibilities for environmental impact of the products that they sell on. The problems relating to this however would obviously mean passing on extra costs for environmental protection on to the consumers obviously making goods much more expensive and possibly unpopular. It is no excuse to just be selling goods with such a liasez faire attitude to the environment regarding packaging. Again this is just a problem being passed on from point of manufacture to councils and governments.
Environmental impact should be considered firstly at point of manufacture and then a strategy should be out in place there which deals with the potential environmental impact of such manufacture and a strategy put in place to deal with it with effective recycling. This would be a much more considered system of manufacturing and retailing. This is not something that COP26 can effectively deal with: the activities of individual businesses and miniaturisation of the isdue. However this is exactly the detail that COP26 and any governments involved need to do and consider. To not consider individual responsibility and responsibilities of businesses, both manufacturing and retail would be to fundamentally miss the whole point of environmentalism. It is unlikely that COP26 is going to give much weight to these considerations. Overall COP26 appears to be a generalisation of the issues but potentially it could achieve a binding commitment from international governments to produce strategies and invest in technologies that could potentially reduce greenhouse gases and prevent a rise in global temperatures.
COP26 will not prevent us from being the victims of our own stupidity
Unfortunately COP26 cannot really do much to curtail much of our stupid and misguided activities. Many of these activities have roots in our socio economic behaviour and basic needs to survive. This is the point when the good intentions of environmentalism clash with the basic needs to survive or thrive in the modern world. The demands of the modern world to keep up and to succeed often conflict with the requirements to become more environmentally aware. Much of the socio economic world is based on competition for resources and the need to have a degree of control on resources to maintain a comfortable position for health and survival and even a successful outcome. These values often oppose the needs and requirements of environmentalism whose fundamental aim is to preserve. So how can thee opposing forces balance themselves out. It certainly cannot be done if left to thd individual responsibilities. Could it be policed: yes it could be that would depend upon styles of governments and the amount of resources and manpower that they would be willing to commit to such a task. We have previously witnessed statements from governments about rainforest deforestation indicating a commitment to maintain rainforest in their territories by disuading or banning slash and burn land grabs. However in reality this has not stopped this happening because it is almost an impossibility to police effectively without a massive investment. Often financial assistance given to such countries internationally isn’t used for the purpose that it was intended and sometimes thee governments can be corrupt and misappropriate aid. All in all it’s a big risk giving international aid to unreliable governments anyway and you can never be entirely sure what happens to the money given. Despite commitments from governments territorialy connected to the rainforest, slash and burn appropriation of land for cattle farming continues. COP26 despite it’s good intentions and broad-ranging agenda will not prevent us from becoming the victim’s of our own stupidity, selfishness and shortsightedness. Until socioeconomic pressures on individuals to survive is addressed then their will always be pressures on the individual to abuse and exploit the environment for their own ends in order to survive. In many countries throughout the world this situation cannot be adequately policed and in many countries there is also an overwhelming uneasiness and unwillingness to do so anyway.