'Let’s get it done': Aspen delegates reflect on the climate crisis and COP26
As extreme weather events such as drought and rising sea levels continue to take their toll across the globe, this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, wrapped up Friday. Several Aspen residents, including Weston Boyles and Jacquelyn Francis, attended the conference, which was held in Glasgow, Scotland, over the past two weeks.
“I am thrilled to actually be working in this space with so many people who really believe that the people of our planet can succeed,” said Francis, co-founder and executive director of the Global Warming Mitigation Project. Francis’ nonprofit organization focuses on finding ways to solve the climate crisis by funding and awarding prizes to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The problem is so deeply ingrained in capitalism and how we have everything set up,” said Boyles. “It’s going to be a difficult change if we hope to save the world.”
Boyles, who grew up in Aspen, founded Ríos to Rivers, an environmental justice nonprofit that works with Indigenous students to protect endangered river basins around the world. He traveled to COP26 with a group of Indigenous youths from North America and South America to address the impact of hydropower dams on biodiversity, Indigenous communities and climate change.
Aspen Public Radio reporter Eleanor Bennett recently caught up with Boyles and Francis to talk about their experiences at COP26.