Young climate activists call for ‘end of betrayal’ at Cop26 protest

·2-min read

A group of young climate activists from around the world say they feel “betrayed” by leaders at Cop26, as they gathered at a demonstration opposite the summit in Glasgow.

The group held up illuminated letters saying “end climate betrayal” during the protest on the opposite bank of the Clyde.

The event was organised by the Avaaz campaign organisation, which has drafted an open letter calling for climate action with more than one million signatures.

One of those who gave a speech at the demonstration on Tuesday evening was Txai Surui, an Amazonian indigenous activist of the Paiter Surui people.

Earlier, she took part in the opening day of Cop26, urging world leaders to listen to indigenous people.

The 24-year-old told the PA news agency: “We’re having people invading our lands – such as loggers – and destroying our forests.

“My friend was murdered because he protected our home.

“Leaders need to speak about people, we are not going to have climate justice while we don’t have social justice.”

She said she felt this Cop meeting was more open to the voices of indigenous people than previous conferences, but there were still more to be heard.

After her speech on the opening day of Cop26, she said, a member of the Brazilian party approached her and told her to stop criticising the country.

She said: “He was not happy about my whole speech, because I said we were on the front lines of defending the forest and we are dying for that.”

Dominika Lasota, a Polish member of the Fridays For Future movement founded by Greta Thunberg, said she first got involved in climate activism at the start of the pandemic.

Despite gatherings being hindered by coronavirus, the 19-year-old said the movement had not died down.

She told the PA news agency: “We’ve been hearing so many empty promises, empty speeches that sound nice.

“I think the most distressing thing to see is Boris Johnson and Joe Biden not coming forward with adequate action. They are betraying us.”

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