Rupert Read is a professor of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, and the author of several books. In this article he argues that our political leaders can’t be relied upon to deliver at COP26, and inevitably change will be up to the people.

With just one month to go until COP26, all eyes are on the world’s politicians. With expectations so high though, can our political leaders face up to their responsibilities? Or will their failure cause more people to wake up and take action on their own?

Even if a poor outcome at COP26 acts as a catalyst, it is still far from ideal. But that’s what I am suggesting: that a bad outcome from COP26 is the best we can hope for.

The alternative is a truly terrible agreement, or no agreement at all. This is a distinct possibility given the current crisis with soaring energy prices, which is already raising questions about the EU’s climate plans.

Add to this the suffering of Majority World countries, due to the failure of the rich nations to pay them what they are owed in both climate and adaptation finance. And the circumstances are looking bleak.

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