Coinciding with ‘Youth and Public Empowerment Day’ at the 26th session of the UN climate conference COP26, the march, which saw participation from environmentalists and teen activist Greta Thunberg, started at Kelvingrove Park and reached George Square with the general public enthusiastically cheering them.
The protests are meant to send a strong message to people across the globe after the current round of climate talks again saw developed nations neither rising up to the challenge of enhancing adequately their emission cuts, nor delivering on the promised climate finance to support developing countries during the pre-2020 period. In fact, the hollow promises of world leaders had prompted Thunberg to coin the “No more blah blah blah” slogan.
“This is no longer a climate conference. This is a Global North greenwash festival,” she said. The issue of ‘climate justice’ dominated these protests over two days.
Meanwhile, young climate leaders came together with negotiators, officials and ministers from across the world at COP26 on Friday, making their voices heard and demanding the action needed to prevent catastrophic climate change in their lifetimes.
Events across COP26 focused on harnessing the expertise of young people and putting their views directly to the negotiators and officials working to agree global action on climate change. The day was co-chaired by YOUNGO, the Official Children’s and Youth constituency of the UNFCCC which opened with a session called ‘Unifying for Change: Global Youth voice’ at COP26.
“YOUNGO also presented the COY16 Global Youth Position statement, representing the views of over 40,000 young climate leaders from across the world. The statement presented their priorities directly to ministers, including action on climate finance, mobility and transportation, through to wildlife protection conservation,” said a press release, issued on behalf of UK COP26 Presidency.
“The voices of young people must be heard and reflected in these negotiations here at COP. The actions and scrutiny of young people are key to us keeping 1.5 (degree Celsius) alive and creating a net-zero future. I am also aware of the fear and anxiety many of them feel about the future of the planet, including my own children. That is why we must act on the COY16 Global Youth Position Statement from COY16 and the manifesto from the Milan Youth4Climate Summit,” said COP26 President Alok Sharma.