The COP26 Climate Summit has taken a lot of criticisms this week for its inaccessibility, from wheelchair-using ministers being unable to enter to a complete lack of sign language interpreters. Even CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer found the conference totally inaccessible, mainly because he turned up to the wrong city. But a COP26 spokesman has announced this is all part of a “climate change trial run,” meant to demonstrate the devastating inequality the disabled population will face in the oncoming apocalypse.
“That’s not the half of it!” he told us. “We’ve set off fire alarms that Deaf and hard-of-hearing attendees can’t hear, we’ve lit fires all over the campus that disabled people can’t outrun … We even simulated rising sea levels by slowly filling the conference hall with water. You’ll notice the wheelchair users were the first to start drowning. Well, them and any world leaders who were asleep at the time. It really is a wonderful demonstration of just how screwed they’ll all be.”
When questions arose as to whether this is just PR spin to cover for disastrous planning, the spokesperson said, “Of course not! In Britain, we don’t make mistakes. Making disabled people fear for their lives is just what we do, and we have it down to a fine — *unintelligible bubbling noises*”
“We’ve struggled to have our voices heard. Y’know, over the screaming,” said Umberto Perez, a disabled attendee. “It’s almost like people who survive deprivation by fighting structural inequality might be particularly well armed to tackle something like climate change. Rising waters are going to drown wheelchair users first. I mean that figuratively,” he clarified. “And also, y’know, literally.”
But some have defended the COP26 organizers. Although the lack of any sign language interpreters at the conference has drawn criticism, there was one Deaf attendee who stated that it didn’t detract from the proceedings. “I understood Boris Johnson as well as the rest of the audience did,” she told us. “His lips were moving, so I knew he was just talking shit.”