'Stop climate crime': Thousands join COP26 youth protest in Glasgow

5 November 2021, 12:51 | Updated: 5 November 2021, 12:59

Thousands of youth activists today took to the streets of Glasgow to demand action on climate change from leaders and politicians as COP26 talks continue.

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The climate strike, organised by Fridays for Future Scotland, comes as the COP26 talks feature events highlighting the voice of young people and education in climate action.

Campaigner Greta Thunberg, who has labelled the conference a "two-week celebration of business as usual and blah blah blah”, is among those expected to speak at the end of the march this afternoon.

Friday's protest also comes ahead of a march on Saturday where tens of thousands of people are expected in Glasgow.

Demonstrators join the Fridays For Future march in Glasgow on Friday.
Demonstrators join the Fridays For Future march in Glasgow on Friday. Picture: Getty

On the march on Friday, Jenny Ayrton, Gemma Knowles and Naomi Wright brought a giant moth made out of milk cartons.

They said more than 20,000 of the model moths have been made by people across the country as a "moth-to-a-flame" metaphor for the environmental crisis.

Ms Wright said: "Protect moths and and we protect ourselves. Now, there's an awful lot of people who have been working really hard in cutting their carbon, wearing their jumpers to turning their thermostats down, walking, cycling.

"But they run out of things they can do themselves. They want governments to do more, we need the big decisions."

Thousands of people joined the Fridays For Future march.
Thousands of people joined the Fridays For Future march. Picture: Getty

Cairsty O'Rourke also took part in the climate strike march with her son Charlie and daughter Edith.

She said: "I'm basically here for my children and for the generations to come, to just show that something has to happen and it has to happen very quickly in order to change the trajectory that we're going on.

"Big words are are being spoken at COP26 and governments around the world have to be made to follow through on the promises that they make during this COP.”

The protests come at the end of the first week of the conference, where countries are under pressure to increase ambition on cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change, to avoid the worst impacts of warming, and to ensure finance for poor countries to tackle the crisis.

Earlier in the week around 120 world leaders gathered at the summit to set out the action they were taking to tackle the climate crisis.

Read more: Cop26 analysis: Energy day loses its spark

There have also been announcements on curbing deforestation, phasing out coal and boosting finance flows towards transforming economies to be green.

But Labour's shadow business and energy secretary Ed Miliband warned against "shifting the goalposts" to focus on long-term targets and vague announcements in various sectors instead of on urgent action by countries to cut emissions to get the world on track to limit temperature rises to 1.5C.