Home Top Stories Greta Thunberg attracts 1000’s to Glasgow for COP26 youth protest

Greta Thunberg attracts 1000’s to Glasgow for COP26 youth protest

Greta Thunberg attracts 1000’s to Glasgow for COP26 youth protest

Thousands of demonstrators covered the streets of the Scottish city on Friday, with many bearing placards that warned of the effects of rising temperatures and extreme weather events.

Young Filipino climate advocate Jan Karmel Guillermo told crowds the summit was a “crucial moment” in the climate crisis.

Eighteen-year-old campaigner Greta Thunberg was set to speak to protesters later, more than three years after she founded the “Fridays for Future” school strikes movement that galvanized youth action over climate change.

Crowds chanted “We are unstoppable, another world is possible,” and other slogans as they attempted to attract attention near the venue. A large police contingent corralled crowds as they grew throughout the morning.

Daisy Deakin, a 7-year-old from Glasgow accompanied by her mother Isabel, said she wanted to come to the protest to see Thunberg.

“She saves the world from climate change,” she told CNN, as she displayed a sign saying “Save our planet.”

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joins a march.
A UN report warned the world is not adapting quickly enough to the climate crisis.

“Our parents will die from old age. Our children will die from climate change,” warned a banner carried by 22-year-old Maia Runciman, originally from Texas and now living in Glasgow.

“I’m here to push world leaders to put the [climate] policies in place and protect the world for the future,” she said.

During the event, young climate leaders from around the world presented the Global Youth Statement to high-level delegates, relishing the opportunity to bring the youth perspective to the high-profile summit.

Young people have been “traditionally excluded entirely from global climate negotiations,” said Guillermo.

But on Friday, young people were also the focus of the summit. The theme of the event’s fifth day was “youth and public empowerment,” with leaders seeking to appeal to younger audiences worldwide as they pressed ahead with negotiations.

“I talk to people who are frustrated all the time, and I consider myself one of the frustrated,” the United States’ climate envoy John Kerry said in response to protests outside.

A placard reads "No more blah, blah, blah," in reference to a criticism by Thunberg of world leaders' rhetoric on the climate.
Leaders have so far announced a series of climate pledges at the conference, including a deforestation commitment, a deal on coal and a plan to stop investing public finances into fossil fuel projects abroad.
But many of the young activists are urging more radical commitments, as the United Nations warns that the world is not adapting fast enough to the climate crisis.

Cordelia Murray-Brown, 14, told CNN she had missed school to attend the protest, and criticized global leaders for flying to the summit. “It’s a good thing that the leaders are here but it also defeats the purpose since they all took planes to come here … I think there’s now enough people for them to listen. I think they are making promises they know they can’t keep.”

“I’m frustrated. I just want them to do what they say they’d do,” Prudence Stamp, 18, added.

Thunberg’s speech on Friday comes after a week in which she has been mobbed by supporters and members of the media.

Generation Climate: How the crisis made young people the adults in the room

On Monday, the activist joined other “Fridays for Future” campaigners at a demonstration at Festival Park in Glasgow, near the UN climate summit, where she once again mocked politicians for their inaction on climate.

She said the politicians and delegates gathered at the COP talks were “pretending to take our future seriously.”

“Change is not going to come from inside there. That is not leadership, this is leadership,” Thunberg added, referring to the group of protesters assembled outside.

“This is what leadership looks like. We say no more blah blah blah, no more exploitation of people and nature and the planet… No more whatever the f**k they’re doing inside there,” she continued.


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