Instagram and Irn-Bru: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes the world inside COP26

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

AOC is proving a success among the many locals in Scotland.

Ian Forsyth/Getty Photos

With a swig of Irn-Bru, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might need achieved extra for local weather diplomacy at this week’s UN local weather summit than the remainder of the US delegation mixed. On the very least, she’s gained the hearts and minds of the locals.

The US has despatched a few of its strongest and influential voices to talk at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, over the previous two weeks, amongst them President Joe Biden, former president Barack Obama, former vp Al Gore, local weather envoy John Kerry and Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Between them they’ve made many grand speeches, however none has made any discernible effort to attach with the summit host nation’s tradition. Not so with Ocasio-Cortez. In reply to an Instagram query Tuesday night about whether or not she’d tried Irn-Bru, a fizzy beverage generally known as Scotland’s different nationwide drink (after whisky, in fact), she mentioned she hadn’t, however wished to. The next day she was duly offered with a can of Irn-Bru by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“I like it,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned, in a video posted to Instagram after cracking open the can and taking a sip of the liquid, which is such a luminous shade of orange it seems to be radioactive. She in contrast it to the Latin American soda Cola Champagne.

It could be straightforward to dismiss this second of reprieve from the gravity of the UN local weather summit as little greater than a photograph op. However Ocasio-Cortez, who hasn’t made a speech on the summit, has been utilizing Instagram to carry individuals inside in a method others haven’t.

Local weather justice advocacy teams have characterised this 12 months’s local weather COP as exclusionary. Many indigenous teams and representatives from growing international locations who needs to be attending the summit have been shut out as a result of restrictions on accreditation, the price of attending to Glasgow or inequities in vaccine distribution. Even those that have made it contained in the safe zone the place the convention is going down have discovered themselves locked out of negotiations and key periods. 

Inside COP26 with AOC

In a collection of Instagram tales, Ocasio-Cortez broke down the aim of UN local weather summits, the particular focuses and targets of COP26, and the way it’s been structured round themes. She additionally confirmed viewers across the venue, explaining what occurs in bilateral briefing rooms and plenary halls, and what she was doing through the non-public-facing components of her day.

As she was posting on COP26’s “gender day” she additionally defined why gender is such an necessary subject in preventing the local weather disaster, and he or she famous it is one of many fundamental points she got here to debate at COP26. 

“Do you know the US had a disaster of lacking and murdered Indigenous girls? And that many of those girls go lacking close to fossil gasoline extraction websites?” she mentioned. “Do you know that in different international locations, girls undertake a lot of the agricultural exercise and local weather change’s results on crops have large ramifications for ladies and nonbinary individuals’s rights?”

Ocasio-Cortez additionally endorsed one thing the local weather justice motion has been asking for on the summit, however that few different politicians have acknowledged. “[COP] needs to be centering Indigenous peoples extra as stakeholders in exhausting negotiations — not simply speeches,” she mentioned.

The congresswoman is hardly the primary to level that the US arrived on the summit on the again foot after withdrawing from (after which rejoining) the Paris Settlement — Biden also noted that last week. However her message that the nation had “not recovered its ethical authority” was nicely obtained inside the summit partitions.

Among the similar younger activists who felt patronized earlier this week by Obama, for addressing his speech to them whereas failing to ship on his personal local weather guarantees, have been clamoring outdoors the press convention room hoping to fulfill her on Tuesday. Ocasio-Cortez’s directness and transparency at COP26 look like resonating with them — and Instagram is not less than slightly to thank for that. | Instagram and Irn-Bru: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes the world inside COP26


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