“All we can do is keep protesting”: protests continue as COP enters its second week

8 November 2021 

As international climate negotiations enter their second week in Glasgow, demonstrators remain committed to continued protests across the city. 

Members of Extinction Rebellion gathered for a rally outside the event campus hosting the COP26 climate conference, which began last week with a leader’s summit and is set to conclude this coming weekend. 

“We’re here because we want to make sure that COP26 knows we’re expecting something to happen. We’re not optimistic,” Paul from Extinction Rebellion told The Green News. 

“[COP26] has been very disappointing. All we can do is keep protesting and tell them they need to come up with some better ideas on how to do this. We haven’t got time to waste.

“Today we’re here to tell them there’s still time to do something. We have a tiny amount of hope, but we have some hope,” he said. 

The environmental direct action group has held a number of demonstrations since the negotiations began and will continue to do so this week, according to organisers. 

Members of Scientist Rebellion also gathered this afternoon to hold a “teach-in” to inform the public of the extent of the climate crisis and to debunk common climate crisis misunderstandings. 

Presenters addressed the issue of mass tree-planting in an effort to draw down carbon, warning that it could disturb ecosystems and have an overall negative effect on biodiversity if done with a monoculture approach. 

Representatives from the organisation also disputed the belief that “carbon capture, innovation, green growth and Government” will ultimately be the solution to the climate crisis. 

Scientist Rebellion held a direct action at George V Bridge in Glasgow on Saturday and successfully blocked the bridge for a number of hours. 

In total, 21 scientists were arrested for the action, according to the group. 

“Vote like your life depends on it” 

Meanwhile, former US President Barack Obama addressed the COP26 conference today and told young activists to “vote like your life depends on it, because it does”. 

“Back in the United States of course, some of our progress stalled when my successor decided to unilaterally to pull out of the Paris Agreement in his first year in office. I wasn’t real happy about that,” he said. 

However, before the former President took the stage this afternoon, members of Fridays for Future International were pressing the United States to contribute more to global finance to help the Global South cope with the worst effects of the climate crisis. 

“Mr Barack Obama, I was 13 when you promised $100 billion in climate finance. The US has broken that promise, it will cost lives in Africa. Earth’s richest country does not contribute enough to life-saving funds,” Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate said. 

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Kayle Crosson