Cop26: Climate activists stage protest posed as world leaders in Squid Game
Protesters dressed as world leadersplayed a series of four children’s games in a Squid Game-themed demonstration on Tuesday in Glasgow.
World leaders are playing a deadly game with the planet, protesters have said, urging world leaders gathered at Cop26 to do more to stop climate change.
Protesters dressed as Joe Biden, Xi Jinping, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron, along with eight other world leaders, and played a series of four children’s games in a Squid Game-themed demonstration on Tuesday in Glasgow.
Andrew Nazdin, the director of the Glasgow Actions Team, who organised the event, demanded that more be done to stop climate change, and added that the “time for climate games is over”.
“World leaders need to agree a plan to keep warming well below 1.5 degrees Celsius and put up money to fund a just transition across the global south,” he said.
The hit Netflix programme follows a heavily indebted gambler who is competing against hundreds of others in a series of children’s games in an attempt to win a huge payout.
Malcolm White of the Glasgow Actions Team, dressed as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was taking part in the games opposite the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), where global leaders are trying to thrash out a new climate deal.
“We’re here playing the Squid Game in order to highlight that the climate leaders are playing games with the planet,” said the 34-year-old. “They’re here, they’re using lots of rhetoric, but they’re not actually, so far, engaging with the discussion process at the level which we think is in keeping with the climate crisis we are all facing.”
The “leaders” played climate hopscotch, tug-of-war, kicked around an inflatable world, and rolled dice. At one point Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden could be seen tussling with the inflatable Earth as boilersuit-clad protesters watched on in front of a sign that urged them to “stop playing climate games”.
Fatima Ibrahim, co-founder of the Green New Deal Rising movement, said the protesters were demanding “world leaders take real action on the climate issue”.
“Yesterday we saw a bunch of rhetoric and some big promises, but they are not delivering on their promises,” said the 28-year-old. “Climate change does not react to rhetoric, it does not react to promises, it reacts to action.
“What we want is for world leaders to go home, put an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure, and put a real investment in the green economy, and deliver green jobs for millions of ordinary working people who need a stake in the transition.”
She said the Cop26 conference was the starting gate for taking action, and when leaders go back to their home countries they must act on their promises.
“We need to make sure any promises that are made in these two weeks are things that we force our governments to deliver on and that’s going to take public mobilisation, it’s going to take boots on the ground, out on the streets, everyday campaigning.”
Chris Venables, the head of politics at the Green Alliance, said world leaders should “take the climate crisis more seriously”.
“I think often these events will feel like a circus and they can feel like a game, but obviously it’s actually about the lives of millions of people across the world and indeed here in the UK,” said the 32-year-old activist, who also called on leaders to keep the target of 1.5-degree maximum warming limit on the table.