Thousands hit Glasgow streets, demand bolder climate action
Drizzle and strong winds did little to deter the thousands of protesters gathered at Kelvingrove Park in the west end of Glasgow. They had made their way there to take part in the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice march. A little after noon, protesters began their march along a pre-agreed route to Glasgow Green via George Square. Several other protest marches converged at George Square.
The Edinburgh COP Coalition had 13 coaches to carry people to the event while a series of Pedal on COP26 bicycle rides were organised from more than 20 areas of Scotland to Glasgow. The demand was straightforward. It’s time for governments to step up. No more talking, governments must do better to act on climate change.
The protests brought together diverse groups — youth movements, civil society organisations and even politicians. Climate activists such as Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate were scheduled to address the protestors. It wasn’t just a call for action.
There has been a steady flow of complaints from civil society about problems with access, said Asad Rehman, a spokesperson for the COP Coalition. “We are taking to the streets across the world this weekend to push governments from climate inaction to climate justice,” he said. Civil society representatives have been raising the issue of access all through the week.
Many have termed COP26 as the “least accessible climate summit” ever. Saturday’s march was preceded by protests at which activists, youth groups and politicians called on negotiators from about 190 countries, including members of the European Union, to take decisions that will address real-life situations and crises caused by climate change. Civil society representatives from developing countries highlighted their plight with sea level rises and devastating floods.
“The spectacle that the UK Presidency of COP26 is trying to create through grand announcements is at odds with what is happening within the UN climate talks,” said Harjeet Singh, senior advisor, Climate Action Network International.
“There are claims of trillions of dollars being mobilised for climate action but inside the negotiations, there is huge resistance to even define what climate finance entails. This allows rich nations to fudge numbers and take no accountability,” said Singh.
Activists and civil society groups have said that if the talks fail to address the issue of climate justice and the plight of the most vulnerable, then COP 26 would be classed a failure. “At the events, there is recognition that vulnerable people are facing climate impacts and the need for increasing financial support,” Singh said.
“But, behind closed doors, rich nations are pressuring developing countries to hold their tongue and avoid setting up a new stream of finance to help communities recover from devastating floods and rising seas.”
Published at Sat, 06 Nov 2021 17:25:39 +0000