Climate activists march on Cop26 anniversary to highlight ‘failure’ of event

The demonstration, organised by Fridays For Future Scotland, will see participants march through the city centre

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A year on from the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, activists are to stage a climate strike in the city to highlight the “failure” of the event.

The demonstration, organised by Fridays For Future Scotland, will see participants march through the city centre from Kelvin Way to George Square.

The route mirrors the group’s demonstration during Cop26 on November 5 last year.

A rally will then be held in George Square where speeches will be given by people from community groups.

A year on from the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, activists are to stage a climate strike in the city
A year on from the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, activists are to stage a climate strike in the city

Organisers said the purpose of the march is “to highlight the failures of Cop26, as well as the UK Government’s ‘greenwashing’, and the links between the climate crisis and the cost-of-living crisis”.

Adam Ballard, 16, who is one of the organisers behind Friday’s demonstration, said: “The climate crisis and the cost-of-living crisis have the same root: the refusal to move away from fossil fuels.

“There is no oil shortage; there is a corrupt system that prioritises profit over people.

“While ordinary people are forced to choose between heating and eating, the people in power and fossil fuel chief executives continue to make unimaginable profits.”

The goal of Cop26 was to prevent the average global temperature from rising more than 1.5C compared with levels before the Industrial Revolution.

Reports say this is the threshold beyond which some scientists have said the dangers of global warming grow.

At the close of the talks, EU leader Ursula von der Leyen said the outcome of Cop26 was “a step in the right direction”.

The protests will take place to highlight the “failure” of Cop26
The protests will take place to highlight the “failure” of Cop26

She said the deal “sends a clear message time is up for fossil fuel subsidies and unabated coal” – meaning coal produced without carbon capture technology – adding: “If all long-term commitments announced in Glasgow will be implemented, we should keep global warming under 2C.”

A new global agreement – the Glasgow Climate Pact – was reached at last year’s summit, which aims to reduce the worst impacts of climate change. But some leaders and campaigners say it does not go far enough.

This week, a United Nations report showed pledges by countries to cut greenhouse gases will see the world warming by around 2.5C – well above agreed targets to limit dangerous climate change.

UN climate chief Simon Stiell warned that while there has been some progress this year, countries were “still nowhere near the scale and pace of emissions reductions” needed to limit temperature rises to 1.5C over this century.

Only 24 new or updated climate plans have been submitted since Cop26 in Glasgow, where all countries agreed to revisit and strengthen their plans, which Mr Stiell described as “disappointing”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the Commons this week that he “stands by” the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto and insisted his Government will deliver on what was agreed at the UN Cop26 Glasgow climate talks.

This came after his decision to reintroduce the moratorium on fracking in England.

But on Thursday he was accused of a “massive failure of leadership” after backing out of attending the Cop27 climate summit, which is to be hosted in Egypt next month.

A Downing Street spokesperson said this was due to the PM’s need to focus on more pressing domestic issues including preparations for the autumn budget.

The UK Government has been contacted for comment.

Fridays For Future Scotland is a group of young people under 25 who have been organising school, college, and university strikes to protest against climate inaction since January 2019.