Thousands of people in Glasgow demand climate justice: “Enough of excuses”

Tens of thousands of people, led by indigenous leaders, have demanded this Saturday climate and social justice on the shores of COP26 in Glasgow, on the eve of the UN summit entering its final stretch in search of a pact that avoids that temperatures rise more than 1.5 ºC at the end of the century.

“Here we are all marching not only for ourselves: for animals, for the plant world, for everything spiritual. The stars accompany this path today (…). There are no borders, there are no religions, there are no colors. We are all a great family, the human family “, declared the Chilean Mapuche Calfín Lafkenche at the beginning of the march.

Under heavy rain with blows of wind that was shifting during the day, up to 100,000 people, according to the groups organizing the Global Climate Justice Day, a figure not confirmed by the police, have participated in the march.

The protest started in Kelvingrove Park at 12.00 local time GMT), in the vicinity of the venue where COP26 is being held, and has crossed Glasgow to finish in the park of Glasgow Green. In parallel, climate activism had called on Saturday replicas of the protest in 200 parts of the world, from Seoul to Rio de Janeiro, passing through Manila, Mexico City, Lisbon, Los Angeles or Nairobi.

Between bagpipes, trumpets and batucadas, but also umbrellas and sanitary masks, the great climate march has taken place in a festive and family atmosphere with an alter-world aroma and messages against capitalism, the consumption of meat, nuclear energy or in favor of refugees politicians.

The organizers wanted to give prominence to the “native peoples”, as a global symbol of climate activism. “Indigenism is the climate. The indigenous peoples are nature, they are the spaces, which we protect that everyone breathes. There is no other alternative. We are nature. We are having a little recognition but there is still a long way to go,” he said. declared to Efe Calfín.

A few meters away, the Brazilian federal deputy of the Socialism and Freedom Party Vivi Reis has commented that she has joined the march to protest the policy “against the environment” of the president of her country, Jair Bolsonaro and demand that climate action starts of “a consultation with the native peoples”.

“Surely the dinosaurs also thought they had time left”, “No more excuses”, “We can’t drink money”, “There is no planet B” or “Let’s save our future” are some of the slogans that have been seen in the great COP26 social mobilization between Scottish, Tibetan or Palestinian flags where the messages have transcended environmentalism and claimed from social equity to peace in Sudan.

The march took place a day after some 25,000 young people, with the Swedish activist Greta Thumberg and the Ugandan Vanessa Nakate at the head -also present this Saturday-, walked the streets of the Scottish city that is hosting the summit of United Nations to demand that political leaders end the “blah, blah, blah” of COP26 and provide immediate solutions to the climate crisis.

Both mobilizations are intended to become a wake-up call that boosts the COP26 negotiations, which concludes next Friday without, for now, any progress that suggests that the 2015 Paris Agreement will be fulfilled to prevent temperatures advance more than 2 ºC with respect to the levels prior to the Industrial Revolution, with the aim of limiting the advance to 1.5 degrees.

According to the latest United Nations report updated with the new commitments of 14 countries, global CO2 emissions are on track to grow by 13.7% by 2030 compared to 2010 instead of falling by 50% as they should if the goal is to be maintained of 1º, 5ºC.

This same week, the scientific organization Global Carbon Budget pointed out that carbon dioxide emissions will rebound in 2021 close to the levels prior to the coronavirus pandemic, after experiencing a decrease of 5.4% in 2020.


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