Nicola Sturgeon backs climate protests at COP26 in Glasgow

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Extinction Rebellion activists marched in Edinburgh on October 31 (Getty Images)
Extinction Rebellion activists marched in Edinburgh on October 31 (Getty Images)

Nicola Sturgeon has voiced her support for climate campaigners planning protests during Glasgow’s COP26 summit.

The Sottish First Minister said she encouraged protests in the city to “shake” up world leaders , as long as they were peaceful, adding that she would be meeting with Greta Thunberg on Monday.

It follows the Swedish teenage activist saying angering people is sometimes necessary as part of environmental demonstrations.

"A protest has a really important place in any democracy," Ms Sturgeon told Good Morning Britain.

"Protesters are there to get noticed, to sometimes shake leaders like me out of what people perceive is a sense of complacency.

"The United Nations encourages protests around the COP summit in order that the voices of those who sometimes aren't heard get heard.

"What I would say to any organisation is that they should protest, that is a right in a democracy. But it is in nobody's interests if the discussions can't go ahead."

Ms Thunberg is among thousands of protesters from around the world have descended on Glasgow to demand urgent action on the escalating ecological emergency.

The 18-year-old told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show it "as no-one gets hurt" then "sometimes you need to anger some people" to tackle a crisis.

"The school strike movement would never have become so big if there wasn't friction, if some people didn't get p***ed off", she said.

Britons and people in other countries with clear rights to protest have "more responsibility" to demonstrate on climate change, she added.

Campaigners from dozens of environmental justice groups have descended on Glasgow to pressure the more than 100 world leaders who have arrived for the summit.

They are planning marches, strikes occupations and roadblocks in a campaign of peaceful civil disobedience during the two weeks of talks.

Hundreds of passengers hoping to travel to Glasgow for COP26 by train were left stranded at Euston (PA)
Hundreds of passengers hoping to travel to Glasgow for COP26 by train were left stranded at Euston (PA)

COP26 is also facing disruption from bin collection and street cleaner strikes.

The GMB union told the Glasgow Council that members of the city's cleansing service will strike for a week from Monday - the first full day of the conference .

It follows hundreds of delegates being delayed reaching the summit on time.

Passengers on their way to Glasgow were stranded at Euston station on Sunday night as extreme weather caused disruption and damage to tracks.

Many were told to home as trains north were cancelled and delayed.

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