Greta Thunberg joins climate activists in Glasgow as protests escalate ahead of COP26
The crucial United Nations climate conference, which runs from Sunday October 31 to Friday November 12, is seen as crucial in addressing the threat of rising temperatures.
Activists from around the world descended on Glasgow and organizers were expecting up to 100,000 people at a large protest on Friday.
Participants had come from afar, including several other European countries, some having traveled long distances, to voice their frustrations at the United Nations conference starting Sunday and ending November 12.
Earlier, protesters marched through the center of Scotland’s largest city, holding up signs bearing slogans such as “actions, not words” and “stop fossil fuels”.
They were led by members of the direct action group Extinction Rebellion, which crippled cities around the world with its protest tactics and pledged to do the same in Glasgow.
“We are waiting for more ambitious measures, that our political leaders are aware of the urgency of the situation,” Belgian retiree Dirk van Esbroeck told AFP.
“Because our children, our grandchildren risk living in a much more complicated world, which is going to suffer from serious climatic changes.”
Source: AP Images
He and about 20 other members of a group called “grandparents for the climate” had traveled by train from Belgium to Edinburgh before walking the last 75 kilometers to Glasgow.
“There is still a long way to go between declarations and action,” added the 68-year-old, who has five children and 12 grandchildren.
“We just want to see concrete measures, we also want to see support for the countries of the South,” said Becky Stockes, a 31-year-old translator who had walked from Spain.
“This is the last chance,” she added of the rally.
Student Maciej Walczuk, 19, noted that despite 25 previous COP-type summits, “the climate situation is as bad as it has ever been”.
“We aspire to a different COP … and (to) create solutions for those already affected,” he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the G20
Representatives from nearly 200 countries, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Joe Biden, are expected to attend the summit, which is seen as pivotal in the fight against climate change.
Ahead of the summit, Australia’s position on its future use of coal remains uncertain, with Mr Morrison saying his government would not be forced to stick to a timetable to phase out the use of coal-fired electricity.
“It will not be the policy of the Australian government. All countries arrive at this task from different places, their economies are different. And as a global community, we have to understand that, ”Morrison said after arriving in Rome on Friday evening for the Group of 20 leaders’ summit ahead of COP26.
“Developing countries have different challenges from those in Europe. Indeed, the Australian economy in the shape and form of our economy is also very different from many of them, ”he said.
The Morrison government this week unveiled its plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, but will not lift its 2030 pollution reduction target by 26-28% from 2005 levels.
Police say around 10,000 officers from across the UK will be deployed each day at the Glasgow summit, the largest police operation ever in Scotland.
With SBS News