Protests outside COP26 venue continue as deal is yet to appear

12 November 2021 

Protests continued outside the COP26 venue in Glasgow today as international climate negotiations are down to the wire just inside. 

Demonstrators from the COP26 coalition, Fridays for Future International and Extinction Rebellion gathered at the entrance to the Scottish Event Campus this morning and afternoon and urged leaders to produce a final document that would keep warming below the 1.5 C threshold. 

Members of Climate Camp Scotland were also present and held a piece of fabric they said symbolised a “red line” at COP26. 

“The failure of these talks will not stop our movement. Climate justice now!” the organisation later tweeted. 

Earlier this morning, the second draft version of the conference’s final text was published and it appeared that wording around fossil fuel subsidies had been weakened. 

The original draft released earlier this week said countries should “accelerate the phasing out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies” but did not provide a timeline on the cessation. 

The newest version has notably different language on the issue of subsidies and instead calls upon countries to phase out “inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels”. 

The section on climate finance has been expanded in the newest version of the text and expressed “deep regret” that the $100 billion climate finance target from developed countries to developing counterparts had not fully materialised. 

The figure was promised as part of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and ensuring developed countries provide adequate finance for the damages the Global South already faces and will continue to face would be a key metric of success for the conference, according to Christian Aid Policy Officer Conor O’Neill. 

The conclusion of the negotiation remained unclear at the time of writing, but it appeared talks would go on past the original 6pm deadline for today. 

Sofia Gutierrez at today’s COP26 protest photo: Kayle Crosson

“First it was exciting, but now we’re disappointed” 

Protesters across the board expressed that the talks had failed to meet the moment of the climate crisis, including Colombian Fridays for Future International striker Sofia Gutierrez.

At first the negotiations seemed exciting to Sofia as there was “hope that world leaders are going to do something,” she told The Green News. 

“Now we’re disappointed. But still we keep fighting,” she added. 

For people in the most affected areas by the climate emergency like Sofiia, more time is not available and “we cannot keep waiting for other COPs to come, for other world leaders to keep rehearsing speeches and yet doing no actual climate action.” 

“I hope that world leaders and everyone inside the negotiations has heard what we have been saying during these past two weeks. Because let’s say they had the power and didn’t know what they were doing – but now they do know. Now they have the power to make the right choices,” she said.