Tens of thousands of protesters marched through Glasgow in front of the Cop26 climate conference venue on Friday, chanting and waving homemade signs
Glasgow schoolchildren and a global youth climate movement came together today to demand that Cop26 deliver climate justice.
Tens of thousands of people marched from Kelvingrove Park, which recently hosted a world leaders’ gala dinner, to the Scottish town’s main square. There, young climate activists, including the Ugandan Vanessa Nakate and the Swedish Greta Thunberg, were to speak.
As they walked down Argyle Street, passing near the venue for the UN climate talks, they were cheered and struck down by college students holding homemade signs saying “No Planet B” and “[heart] Greta ”.
– Joe Lo (@joeloyo) November 5, 2021
A man was trying to sell Scottish and European Union flags for £ 5 each ($ 7), but business was slow. “It’s good to have a little bit of color around the place,” he told Climate Home News, “and to show that we are in Scotland”.
Among the marchers was Paz Belèn Quevedo from Chile. She told Climate Home News that climate change is not only affecting Chile’s biodiversity, but also human rights. “There are a lot of dangerous areas where there is a lot of pollution coming in,” she said.
She said Chile was suffering from drought and logging companies and avocado and citrus growers were using scarce water, leaving little for local people.
She was accompanied by Patsy Contardo, who expressed concern that reforestation initiatives could be counterproductive if carried out poorly. At Cop26, countries agreed to stop and reverse deforestation, promising to include indigenous and local communities in the design of these projects.
“A lot of companies say ‘we are planting a lot of trees in developing countries’ but they’re not native trees, they’re just monocultures,” Contardo said.
– Joe Lo (@joeloyo) November 5, 2021
At the back of the march was a small group from the Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition. Taiwan is not a member of the UN due to opposition from China, but still sent officials to Cop26 as delegates for the Pacific island of Palau.
Cheng Ong comes from Macao and studies in Taiwan. He said: “Our government [in Macau] don’t focus on climate change. They don’t talk about it. We have a lot of casinos and they don’t care about climate change and they have to upgrade their system with more efficient equipment.
As a coastal city, Ong said, “We are very vulnerable to climate change. Just five years ago there was a big typhoon and many places were flooded. “
As an observer, Ong was inside the venue of the Cop26. When asked what he thought of the conference, he replied, “A lot has been left out and we really need to act now. Developed countries must provide more support to developing countries.
Much of the crowd had traveled less far. Glasgowians in attendance include young children with their parents, groups of teenagers, college students, socialist groups, samba groups and older protesters.
Elinor Benson, 13, told Climate Home News: “We want to go out and tell people that we are not happy. “
Her older sister, Alice, added: “How do we know people are actually going to do something at Cop26? How do we know they don’t all come together to make it look like they’re doing something and they’re not actually doing it? “
“In the end, they might just say ‘keep recycling and eat less red meat’ but that’s what we are already doing,” their friend Sigurast Ragnarsdottir added, before Alice Benson said that the oil companies were at stake. blame.
The Glasgow Climate Home News said air pollution was a problem in the city and this summer’s heatwave was linked to climate change.
But Glasgow escaped the worst of the impacts of climate change and they were more concerned about the impact on the south of the planet.
Elinor Benson said: “I have heard a story that in the Pacific Islands, if the waters rise a few inches, some of their islands might be completely sunk.”