Many Voices from Global South Shut Out of U.N. Climate Summit as Vaccine Apartheid Limits Travel to U.K.

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This year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow may be the whitest and most privileged one ever, with thousands from the Global South unable to attend because of lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines and travel restrictions. The global inequity in vaccine access mirrors the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis that has fallen mostly on poor countries least responsible for emissions, says climate activist Dipti Bhatnagar in Mozambique. “The people who need to be there, who need to hold people accountable, are not going to be there,” says Bhatnagar, climate justice and energy coordinator at Friends of the Earth International, who was unable to attend the climate conference in Scotland because of a lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines. “What is going to come out of this COP is going to be largely illegitimate because of the way that they’ve organized it and because of the intentions behind it.”

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