COP26 is arguably the most important climate event the world has seen. Time is running out to address the climate crisis. It’s time that climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience become ways of life. The warning signs have been there for a while but we now face a “code red for a healthy future“. Therefore, with so much riding on COP26, all eyes will be on the event. Including on those who are protesting throughout Glasgow. But, why are people protesting at COP26?
COP26: A Global Event
As we’ve discussed over the last few weeks, the enormity of COP26’s importance is like nothing we’ve seen before. It’s a rare occasion where the majority of the world’s leaders, politicians, activists, corporations, NGOs/charities and even Royals come together to tackle the planet’s biggest crisis.
Therefore, for the next two weeks, COP26 will be on every media outlet’s agenda. And we are not just talking here in the UK. We are talking globally.
At the same time, mass peaceful protests have again become a popular way of expression over the last few years. Social justice movements around the world have utilised protests to tackle misogyny, racism and environmental harm.
Therefore, for environmental activists, COP26 is a gateway to share their message to a global audience.
Who is Protesting at COP26?
Many different individuals and organisations are taking part in protests throughout COP26.
Animal Rebellion protesters have scaled buildings while calling on the government to “defund meat, dairy and fishing”.
Similarly, Extinction Rebellion, perhaps the most well known group of climate protesters have organised a number of events in Glasgow and around the world.
Greenpeace will also have “activists on the ground in Glasgow to try to make sure world leaders actually listen and step up and take action“. However, they have not shared further information about any non-violent direct action plans they have.
Why Are People Protesting at COP26?
There are a number of reasons why protests are happening at COP26.
The climate crisis is getting worse and many feel that not enough is being done to tackle it. Individuals and organisations feel that world leaders have fallen short on their promises from the past.
Similarly, many feel they are not being listened to. Especially, when large polluting corporations are supported by governments despite their own part in causing and covering up the extent of the climate crisis.
Therefore, peaceful protests are seen as a way of reminding leaders how important these issues are.
The Impact of Protests at COP26
Protests are set to continue throughout COP26. However, their impact is yet to be known.
The International Day of Action is taking place on the 6th November. This is when the impact of protests will likely reach it’s heights.
Nicola Sturgeon has urged protesters to not to “cause chaos” and to ensure protests remain peaceful. This is a must for those involved and living in the area.