Climate activists stage march to condemn Cop26 ‘failure’

Young activists have staged a climate strike in Glasgow to highlight the “failure” of the Cop26 summit, a year on from the event.

The demonstration, organised by Fridays For Future Scotland, saw participants march through the city from Kelvin Way to George Square.

The route mirrored the group’s demonstration during Cop26 on November 5 last year.

Traffic was stopped by the police as protesters marched towards the city centre holding signs reading “the kids are not alright”, “there is no planet B” and “people over profit”.

A rally was then held in George Square, where speeches were heard.

Organisers said the purpose of the march was “to highlight the failures of Cop26, as well as the UK Government’s ‘greenwashing’, and the links between the climate crisis and the cost-of-living crisis”.

Fridays for Future Scotland march
Young climate activists marched to Glasgow’s George Square on Friday (John Linton/PA)

Niamh Gill, 16, one of the organisers behind the demonstration, said: “We’re here for climate justice, we’re here for the people in the most affected places and areas. We’re here for the failures of Cop26.

“And we’re here for the anger at the system that we have, because the system is causing these crises – it’s causing the climate crisis, it’s causing the cost-of-living crisis.

“We’re here for an undemocratic system that puts billionaires like Rishi Sunak in power when we never voted for them.

“Not enough has been done, and not enough is being done. Things are getting worse and no-one is listening to us. It’s a disgrace.”

Ms Gill said demonstrators want to show they are “appalled” at a system that “exploits and oppresses people all over the world”.

Fridays for Future Scotland march
The demonstration came a year after Glasgow hosted the Cop26 climate summit (John Linton/PA)

Fellow event organiser Amy, who did not want to give her full name or age, said: “We’re here today, a year on from Cop26, to say that we’re not accepting the empty promises that were made a year ago, and we’re certainly not going to accept them in a couple of weeks at Cop27.

“We want to spread the message that we’re angry that our futures are being sold off to the highest bidder for short-term benefits, for all these causes that in 10, 20 years have killed us off, and no-one’s got any benefit from it.”

Fridays For Future Scotland is a group of young people under 25 who have been organising school, college and university strikes to protest against climate inaction since January 2019.

Last year’s Cop26 event saw a goal set to prevent the average global temperature rising more than 1.5C compared with levels before the industrial revolution.

At the close of the talks, EU leader Ursula von der Leyen said the outcome of Cop26 was “a step in the right direction”, with a new global agreement – the Glasgow Climate Pact – being set in order to reduce the worst impacts of climate change.

However, a United Nations report this week showed pledges by countries to cut greenhouse gases will see the world warming by around 2.5C – well above agreed targets to limit dangerous climate change.

UN climate chief Simon Stiell warned that while there has been some progress this year, countries are “still nowhere near the scale and pace of emissions reductions” needed to limit temperature rises to 1.5C over this century.

The Cop27 climate summit will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, next month.