COP26: Greta Thunberg Joins Protest in Glasgow
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has told young protesters that politicians attending COP26 are “pretending to take our future seriously”.
The arrival of world leaders in Glasgow for the COP26 summit triggered a series of demos across the city.
The gathering attended by Greta Thunberg was one of dozens taking place.
She told fellow activists from “Fridays for Future” that change would not come from politicians at the summit but from individuals showing leadership.
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was sailing up the Clyde, with plans to dock near the conference venue.
Demonstrations by French and Tamil groups were being held south of the River Clyde.
UK’s PM Boris Johnson welcomed world leaders to Glasgow on the first full day of the COP26 summit.
Leaders from 120 countries arrived for the talks, including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
About 25,000 delegates will be attending the two-week climate conference in the UN-controlled blue zone on the north side of the River Clyde.
Many different groups from across the globe will be using the opportunity to make their voices heard as the attention of the world is on Glasgow during the pandemic-delayed summit.
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Greta Thunberg was one of the environmental activists speaking at the “Fridays for Future” meeting of young activists at Festival Park, near the COP26 campus.
The activist said: “This COP26 is so far just like the previous COPs and that has led us nowhere. They have led us nowhere.”
“Inside COP there are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our future seriously, pretending to take the present seriously of the people who are being affected already today by the climate crisis.
“Change is not going to come from inside there. That is not leadership – this is leadership.”
The Swedish teenager led cries of “climate justice” and “no more blah, blah, blah”.
“We’re sick and tired of it and we’re going to make the change whether they like it or not,” she added.
Protesters from Extinction Rebellion made this point directly at Glasgow Central Station, where a small group welcomed conference delegates arriving by train.
The group held up large eyes with signs warning the delegates that they represented the “world’s eyes on you”.
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior traveled up the Firth of Clyde, carrying youth climate activists from Mexico, Uganda, Bangladesh and Namibia.
The Erskine Bridge was closed at short notice, stopping traffic for 90 minutes, to allow the vessel to pass.
After uncertainty over whether it would be allowed to enter the city, Greenpeace said the vessel was given permission to dock at Govan.
It eventually moored at the King George V docks at Shieldhall, downriver from the summit venue.
Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie of Police Scotland said it was outside of the exclusion zone, and the ship had not breached any COP26 restrictions.
Activists travelling on the ship, including Edwin Namakanga from Uganda, hope to send a message to world leaders.
In Royal Exchange Square, UK charity Oxfam organized a Scottish pipe band protest, with participants dressing up as 10 leaders from the world’s “highest-emitting” countries.
Angela Merkel, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Joe Biden were all caricatured in the band which Oxfam said was guaranteed to produce a “lot of hot air”.