At the COP26 summit in Glasgow, world leaders agreed to intensify efforts to fight climate change, signed pledges to protect forests and reduce methane emissions, and negotiated new approaches to climate adaptation and justice. This event will reflect on changes European leaders should initiate to ensure a fair and effective climate transition.
COP26 provides a forum for deliberating about climate adaptation, but such global meetings must also account for the needs of developing nations. A narrow climate agenda will only perpetuate divisions between postindustrial and developing countries.
Civil society groups are simultaneously responding to the pandemic’s direct impacts and looking to a post-pandemic future. Many economic, political, and geostrategic challenges are shaping their thinking and their strategies.
Globally, EU assistance has been slow to materialize. Supporting countries in dire need of coronavirus vaccines—through both the provision of vaccines and the sharing of patents—would project the union's soft power capacity.
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic’s tremendous social and economic costs, African governments are mobilizing to save millions of lives. The support of the European Union will be critical in insuring an equitable distribution of vaccines and a smooth post-pandemic recovery.
In spite of its authoritarian practices, Ethiopia has attracted billions in international aid. The November 2020 conflict in the northern Tigray region should prompt a recalibration of the development model, which promotes economic gains without political inclusion.
The rollout of coronavirus vaccines across Europe is imminent. But the EU should seize the opportunity to also share the vaccines with Africa, which would boost mutual trust and the EU’s soft power.
The coronavirus has been a wake-up call for global civil society. It will come out of the pandemic looking very different—and this change will be a significant factor in a now highly fluid international politics.
Mass protests garner significant attention, but what happens next is just as vital for achieving real and lasting change.