COP26 latest news LIVE: Greta Thunberg says conference is ‘blah, blah, blah’ as she leads climate change rally

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COP26 latest news LIVE: Greta Thunberg says conference is ‘blah, blah, blah’ as she leads climate change rally
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Greta Thunberg accused world leaders of offering more “blah, blah, blah” at the COP26 summit as she addressed protesters at a climate change rally.

The activist, 18, branded the summit the “greenwash festival” and said countries in the Northern Hemisphere were “still refusing to take drastic action on the climate”.

It came after she led thousands of young activists through the streets of Glasgow this afternoon to demand action on climate change from leaders and politicians at COP26.

The climate strike has been organised by Fridays for Future Scotland, with participants marching from Kelvingrove Park to George Square.

Follow the updates below

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20:55 , Matt Watts

20:55 , Matt Watts

That ends our coverage for today of COP26. Check the Standard tomorrow for more news from the climate summit.

Here is our story on what Greta had to say about COP26 at today’s protest

20:53 , Matt Watts

Greta Thunberg calls COP26 ‘greenwash festival of empty promises’

Here’s a recap of the week at COP26

18:58 , Matt Watts

COP26 roundup: Key goals and highlights from Glasgow

Children skip school to protest

18:57 , Matt Watts

School-skipping pupils were joined by healthcare workers, activists and artists as they marched through the streets of Glasgow demanding climate justice.

People from across the world gathered in Kelvingrove Park before marching past the Cop26 conference to George Square in the city centre.

One 14-year-old climate protester said young people "shouldn't think twice" about protesting for the things they care about as he arrived in Glasgow.

Finlay Pringle, from Ullapool, in the Scottish Highlands, told the PA news agency: "I love our oceans, I mean I've been living there, so for me, protecting them was very simple. They're basically my second home."

Greta Thunberg labels Cop26 “Greenwash festival"

17:14 , John Dunne

Greta Thunberg has declared Cop26 a “greenwash festival” as she addressed thousands of young climate activists in Glasgow.

The environmental campaigner told the crowd that the climate summit has been a “failure”.

Following a march of thousands of protesters from Kelvingrove Park to George Square, passing the Cop26 venue at the SEC on the way, Ms Thunberg said world leaders are “fighting to maintain business as usual”.

Greta: COP26 is more ‘blah, blah, blah'

16:24 , Daniel Keane

Ms Thunberg has continued her attack on the COP26 summit, suggesting it represents more “blah, blah, blah”.

“This is no longer a climate conference,” she said. “This is a global north greenwash festival.

“A two-week festival of business as usual and blah blah blah.”

‘COP26 is a PR event’, says Greta

16:22 , Daniel Keane

Greta Thunberg said that Cop26 has turned into a “PR event” where leaders are announcing “fancy commitments and targets”.

Taking the stage at a protest in Glasgow, she said that countries in the global north are still refusing “to take any drastic climate action”.

She goes on to accuse global leaders of continuing to fight for the “status quo”, and said COP26 was a “greenwash festival”.

‘COP26 is a PR event’, says Greta

16:22 , Daniel Keane

Greta Thunberg said that Cop26 has turned into a “PR event” where leaders are announcing “fancy commitments and targets”.

Taking the stage at a protest in Glasgow, she said that countries in the global north are still refusing “to take any drastic climate action”.

She goes on to accuse global leaders of continuing to fight for the “status quo”, and said COP26 was a “greenwash festival”.

Brazilian activist labels Bolsonaro ‘a liar'

15:41 , Daniel Keane

Brazilian activist Adri Maffioletti accused her country’s president of being a liar as she addressed climate protesters in Glasgow’s George Square.

She said: “Our president, Jair Bolsonaro, is not here. Because he doesn’t have the capacity to him. All of his lies.

“Because he’s lying all the time – he’s lying about Brazilian people, he’s lying about … preservation of our forest. Liar, liar, our forests are on fire.”

She added: “We are in an emergency. Our country is collapsing.”

John Kerry: Job is ‘not done’ at COP26

15:20 , Daniel Keane

US climate envoy John Kerry has warned that the job is “not done” on the climate despite the progress made at COP26.

Mr Kerry, a veteran of the UN climate negotiation process, said of the Cop26 talks: “The bottom line is, I personally have been to many Cops and I will tell you there is a greater sense of urgency at this Cop, there’s a greater sense of focus.

“And I have never, in the first days of any of the Cops I’ve been to, counted as many initiatives, as much real money being put on the table, even as there are some question marks legitimately about some of the money.”

But Mr Kerry said there needed to be a deal out of the talks that was a “strong statement and implementable”, warning: “The words don’t mean enough unless they are implemented.”

COP26 delegates can tell their grandchildren about climate success, says Grylls

14:59 , Daniel Keane

Delegates at the COP26 summit can tell their grandchildren about the climate achievements made at the conference, TV star Bear Grylls has said.

Speaking at an event in the UK pavilion at the event, the survivalist urged those in positions of power to use their influence for good.

“Many of you work in government and NGOs, you guys have the power – use it,” he said.

“Use if for the good.

“Be the person who can tell their grandchildren that in 2021 at Cop26: ‘It was epic… I made some huge decisions, in fact I almost put my job on the line for it.’”

Greta joins school strike

14:46 , Daniel Keane

Greta Thunberg has joined schoolchildren protesting in Glasgow today.

The 18-year-old, who originally drew international fame through her school climate strikes, posted a picture alongside young activists this afternoon.

Greta joins school strike

14:46 , Daniel Keane

Greta Thunberg has joined schoolchildren protesting in Glasgow today.

The 18-year-old, who originally drew international fame through her school climate strikes, posted a picture alongside young activists this afternoon.

Goal of 1.5C is ‘in sight’, says Maldivian politician

14:28 , Daniel Keane

A politician from the Maldives has insisted that the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C is still “in sight”.

Mohamed Nasheed, the speaker of the Maldives Parliament and a former president of the island state, said while there had been a “mood of pessimism” before the talks began, there has already been some “encouraging outcomes”.

He cited India’s Net Zero target by 2070 and pledges on the greater use of green energy as significant milestones.

Mr Nasheed said: “If you add in the 0.3C for the world methane pledge and perhaps some more for the agreement to stop deforestation, I think we are in sight of the 1.5C goal here in Glasgow.”

Climate activists arrived in Glasgow city centre for protest

14:08 , Elly Blake

Climate activists have arrived in the centre of Glasgow after marching through the city’s streets past the COP26 venue.

Thousands of protestors marched from Kelvingrove Park in the west of the city to George Square demanding climate justice and seeking to hold global leaders to account.

The striking school pupils and campaigners of all ages were joined by activist Greta Thunberg, who will speak later at a rally in the square.

‘Protect moths’, activists urge world leaders

13:57 , Daniel Keane

Work to begin on Botswana coal mine despite COP26 pledge

13:36 , Daniel Keane

Work is due to begin on Botswana’s second privately-owned coal mine in the first quarter of next year despite calls to abandon coal at the COP26 conference.

The country, in Southern Africa, had already signed up to a global commitment to reduce the use of heavily-polluting coal, but opted out of a pledge to stop issuing new licences to mine the fossil fuel.

The CEO of Maatla Resources told Reuters that the development would be going ahead after being awarded a licence in February.

“The target is to reach financial close by February next year and then immediately start building the mine. First production is expected within 12 to 15 months,” Maatla CEO Jacques Badenhorst said in an interview on Thursday.

Al Gore: The world is at a ‘tipping point’

13:18 , Daniel Keane

Former US vice-president Al Gore has warned that the world is at a “tipping point” in the ight against climate change.

Mr Gore, who served two terms as vice-president under Bill Clinton, said that “impressive” pledges for action have been made at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow.

Speaking at a video address at the start of the Globe COP26 Legislators Summit taking place at the Scottish Parliament, he said: “I for one believe very strongly that we are right at the long-awaited political tipping point, the many pledges for action here at this conference of the parties are impressive.

“The number one task is to reduce emissions because we are now using the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet as if it were an open sewer, putting 162 million tonnes of man-made, heat-trapping global warming pollution into the sky every single day.”

Mum of girl killed by toxic air ‘devastated’ by delays to new laws

13:03 , Daniel Keane

The mother of a nine-year-old girl who died from chronic asthma brought on by London’s polluted air is “devastated” at the Government’s decision to delay a consultation into the problem until next year.

Ella Kissi-Debrah, who lived just 25 metres from the South Circular Road in Lewisham, died in February 2013 after suffering dozens of acute seizures for three years.

She became the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed on her death certificate following a second inquest in December last year.

Speaking at an event hosted by the New York Times at COP26, her mother Rosamund Kissih-Debrah said: “I told Alok Sharma that by this time next year, 24 more people will have died from asthma in the UK – 1.1 million people have asthma in the UK.”

She continued: “The time is not in 10 years, the time is now – by the time I finish my speech 10 children will have asthma attacks.”

Young people missing school for climate protests ‘extremely disruptive’, says No 10

12:45 , Elly Blake

No 10 said young people missing school to attend climate demonstrations was “extremely disruptive at a time when the pandemic has already had a huge impact on their learning”.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “We do understand why young people feel so strongly about climate change, and we want to see them use that passion and turn it into action.

“That’s exactly why we’re empowering them through our new virtual national education park, climate leaders awards, and giving teachers the tools to put climate change at the heart of the curriculum, and we’re backing this up with our continued pledge to cut the carbon footprint of school buildings as well.”

 (PA)
(PA)

Greta Thunberg leads climate protestors at youth protest

12:33 , Elly Blake

The 18-year-old activist has made an appearance at the youth climate strike.

 (AP)
(AP)
 (AP)
(AP)

She wore a face mask as she marched with thousands of teenage protestors against climate change in Glasgow.

COP26 ‘has made a difference’, NatWest’s Sir Howard Davies tells the Evening Standard

12:18 , Elly Blake

City grandee Sir Howard Davies has told the Standard COP26 is moving the world in the right direction.

Speaking from the event in Glasgow, the chair of NatWest group said: “Has it made a difference? Yes. Has it made enough of a difference? No, is where I guess I would come out.”

NatWest Group Chairman Howard Davis (Bloomberg via Getty Images)
NatWest Group Chairman Howard Davis (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Read the full exclusive interview with Sir Howard Davies here.

Protestors mock world leaders during Glasgow protests

11:49 , Elly Blake

Actors have dressed up as world leaders to make a statement about climate change.

 (PA)
(PA)

One dressed up as Boris Johnson and dined at a banquet of environmental and climate degradation during a performance on Buchanan Street in Glasgow.

Young people ‘shouldn’t think twice’ about protesting for issues they feel passionate about, says 14-year-old activist

11:23 , Elly Blake

A 14-year-old climate protester has said young people “shouldn’t think twice” about protesting for the things they care about, as he arrived in Glasgow for the school strike protest.

Finlay Pringle, from Ullapool, Scottish Highlands, said: “I love our oceans, I mean I’ve been living there, so for me, protecting them was very simple. They’re basically my second home.”

He was travelling by train to Glasgow with his father to take part in a march demanding climate action at COP26.

Up to 10,000 people are expected to take part in the march, including campaigner Greta Thunberg, whom Finlay described as an “inspiration to all of us.”

Youth activists take to the streets of Glasgow

10:57 , Elly Blake

Climate activists have begun marching through the city on Friday morning.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (AP)
(AP)
 (AP)
(AP)

The protest is taking place as leaders from around the world gather for the COP26 climate summit - with attendees including

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and COP26 President Alok Sharma.

Bear Grylls speaks at COP26

10:53 , Elly Blake

TV personality Bear Grylls is taking part in an event on the role of young people in climate solutions with nature.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

He holds the role of the World Chief Scouting Ambassador.

Young protesters have given up school due to climate urgency, says activist

09:53 , Elly Blake

A number of young people have become “full-time activists” against climate change, giving up education and work due to the urgency of the crisis, one of the leading protesters has said.

Evelyn Acham, a Ugandan activist with the Rise Up movement in Africa, said the issue had spurred young people to abandon other parts of their lives to focus on pushing for action.

Ms Acham was speaking as tens of thousands of young people were taking to the streets of Glasgow in a bid to pressure world leaders to ensure firm action is taken as a result of the COP26 climate summit.

Another activist, American Sophia Kianni, said “not much” had been done at previous COP meetings before the one ongoing in Glasgow, but she added there should be “cautious optimism” for a positive outcome given pledges to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C.

Education Secretary launches sustainability and climate change strategy

09:15 , Elly Blake

Nadhim Zahawi said a new sustainability and climate change strategy launched on Friday will “embed climate change evidence” into the school curriculum.

The Education Secretary told Times Radio: “It means working with teachers to give them the resources so they can embed climate change evidence into science, into geography, into citizenship education.

“At primary school, we’re launching the primary model science curriculum that will also give teachers the resources for enriching young minds with the evidence around climate change.

“And I hope also the aspiration to become great scientists and innovators, to solve some of these problems.”

Melting iceberg ‘visible reminder’ of global warming - climate scientists

08:50 , Elly Blake

An iceberg has been delivered by members of Arctic Basecamp and is on display near COP26.

 (AP)
(AP)

The four ton block of ice, originally part of a larger glacier, was brought from Greenland to Glasgow by climate scientists from Arctic Basecamp.

They say it is a statement to world leaders of the scale of the climate crisis and a visible reminder of what Arctic warming means for the planet.

Police warn of ‘robust’ action against any violent disorder at COP26 protests

07:42 , Elly Blake

Police say they will deal “swiftly and robustly” with any violent disorder or damage to property during planned COP26 protests over the coming days.

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said officers have engaged with key campaign groups to ensure the protests can take place safety but will quickly crack down on any arising problems.

Young people will march through Glasgow on Friday, while on Saturday tens of thousands of people are expected to attend a demonstration in the city.

Mr Ritchie said police have worked closely with organisers of the youth march and are “very encouraged” by the high level of engagement to help deliver a safe event.

He said: “This will be a family event focusing on young people and the future of our planet. We are really looking forward to our continued engagement with organisers to make sure young people get their opportunity to be heard in what is an amazing event with the eyes of the world on us all.”

Students should not miss school to take part in COP26 youth march, says Nadhim Zahawi

07:28 , Elly Blake

The Education Secretary has spoken out against teenagers missing school to attend a protest in Glasgow on Friday.

Some 50,000 youth activists are expected to take to the streets to demand action on climate change from leaders and politicians.

But Mr Zahawi said he "would rather they march on Saturday and Sunday".

He told Sky News: "The summit is here for at least two weekends. I would urge people not to miss school."

The Education Secretary said that while it was important that young people engaged with world leaders, and were "part of the solution", this should not be at the expense of missing school.

Fifth day of COP26 is Youth Day

07:22 , Elly Blake

The fifth day of COP26 will see the conference focus on Youth and Public Empowerment Day.

But attention is likely to move away from the SEC conference venue to the streets of Glasgow, as up to 50,000 youth activists are expected to demand action on climate change from leaders and politicians.

Greta Thunberg, fellow campaigner Vanessa Nakate and other young activists, as well as local trade unionists, will speak to crowds at the end of the march through the city.

Fridays for Future Scotland has organised the climate strike, with participants marching at 11am from Kelvingrove Park to George Square on Friday.

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