Friday, November 26, 2021

Disappointment grows as marchers demand swift climate action

Glasgow, Scotland – Thousands of climate activists marched through the Scottish city that hosted the United Nations climate summit on Saturday, physically close to global negotiators but separated by a vast gap in expectations, with frustrated marchers calling off climate talks. Rapidly rejected and demanded immediate action to slow global warming instead.

Despite complaints of rain and bursts, the atmosphere of protest in Glasgow was upbeat. Climate protests took place across Europe, including London, Paris, Dublin, Copenhagen, Zurich and Istanbul.

Protesters condemned government leaders around the world, saying climate talks so far have failed to produce the quick action needed. Activist Greta Thunberg on Friday condemned the talks, calling it “blah, blah, blah”.

“We’re having these conversations, but don’t really have a policy to support them,” said Days Agazi, a London marcher at a Glasgow performance, shouting to the steady beat of drums.

“And on top of that, real people have to be in the room,” Agazi said, echoing complaints that there is increasingly limited participation by the public at the Glasgow summit. “How are we supposed to make good policy when its stakeholders aren’t even in the room?”

Marchers were holding signs with messages including “Code Red for Humanity,” “Stop the big polluters,” “COP26, we’re looking at you” or simply “I’m angry.” A sign asked, “If not you then who? Now or never?”

Megan McClellan, 24, of Glasgow, said she suspected climate negotiators were listening.

“It’s a very easy thing for them to ignore. They’re nice and comfortable” inside the summit center, she said, which is surrounded by a steel fence.

But her 30-year-old friend Lucet Wood from Edinburgh disagreed.

“They can’t really do anything about it, but they pretend they do… and they’ll put it off for 20-30 years,” Wood said.

Whether as a strategy to increase pressure on governments or to reject talks, Thunberg’s dismissal of the two-week summit – with another week left – has resonated inside and outside the summit venue. Government leaders and negotiators say they are as aware of the urgency of their action as the time is running out to curb pollution from fossil fuels before Earth’s temperatures rise too high.

Nation World News Desk
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