Activists pour ‘oil’ at Cop26 venue and chain themselves to gate in protest

·3-min read
Extinction Rebellion have staged protests across the UK (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
Extinction Rebellion have staged protests across the UK (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Activists have poured ‘oil’ in front of Glasgow’s Cop26 venue in protest ahead of the historic climate change summit.

Members of Ocean Rebellion were dressed in suits and wearing oil canisters on their heads as they spilled golden syrup on the ground near to where the conference is set to take place from Sunday.

In a statement on social media, the group said: “Our oil head characters poured 75 litres of ‘oil’ on the ground outside the Glasgow venue of the Cop26 climate change conference that kicks off on Sunday.

“The sticky oily mess was cleaned up by our dirty scrubbers, a band of ‘cleaners’ who’ll greenwash anyone’s dirty business.”

The demonstration comes just days before world leaders are to meet in Glasgow for Cop26, an event where countries are under pressure to discuss and increase their ambition to tackle the climate crisis.

Up to 30,000 people will descend on Scotland’s largest city over a two-week period.

Earlier on Friday, four activists from the climate change group Extinction Rebellion were pictured with bike locks around their necks attached to the Memorial Gates at the University of Glasgow.

The protesters, who are all students at the university, are calling for the establishment to adopt the Green New Deal – a climate strategy developed by students and staff at the university.

Activists claimed members of the deal’s coalition were “only offered more talk, more dither, more delay” after meeting with the university’s vice chancellor, Anton Muscatelli; the chief operating officer, David Duncan; and Centre for Sustainable Solutions director, Professor Jaime Toney, to discuss the deal on Thursday.

The university must live up to its rhetoric on climate and implement the deal now

Eve Sharples, Extinction Rebellion

Protester Vidya Nanthakumar, 21, said: “We have locked ourselves to this gate because we are so frustrated that the university refuses to take the urgent action the climate crisis demands.”

Another activist, Eve Sharples, also 21, added: “We are dismayed that the university refused to even make a single commitment to real climate action in yesterday’s meeting.

“We know what needs to be done, the Green New Deal made that very clear when it was published two years ago.

“The university must live up to its rhetoric on climate and implement the deal now.”

The deal includes 60 demands which would “end the university’s countless ecologically destructive practices”, according to protesters.

A University of Glasgow spokesperson said: “We were the first university in Scotland to declare a climate emergency and we have since published our response to that emergency, which commits us to the ambitious target of achieving net carbon neutrality by 2030.

“The principal met with students yesterday who are concerned about the climate crisis and are encouraging the university to move further and faster.

“We continue to welcome views from across our community and we will continue to work with our various student bodies to reach our ambitious carbon reduction targets.”

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