AFP.Glasgow - Defying torrential rain, thousands of protesters gathered on Saturday, November 6 in Glasgow to march for "climate justice" in a day of global mobilization, after Swedish activist Greta Thunberg denounced the COP26 negotiations as a "failure ”.
Organizers and police anticipated some 50,000 protesters in the Scottish city that from October 31 to November 12 receives representatives from almost 200 countries with the mission of reaching an urgent agreement to limit global warming.
However, the heavy rain and violent winds delayed the start of the march, called by the Coalition COP26 platform, where the wet banners demanded: "put the planet before money now."
"What we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now! ”The activists chanted when the column began its journey with the hope of arriving three hours later at the place where speeches by different environmental leaders were scheduled.
"The people, united, will never be defeated" they sang in different languages, in a protest that gathered from young people who already expressed their frustration in the streets on Friday, to the civil disobedience movement Extinction Rebellion (XR), known for its daring actions that paralyze cities and usually end in numerous arrests.
"This is COP26, we have had 25 before and they have all been a failure," Lilly Henderson, 17, a member of the group Friday for the Future, told AFP, taking up the words that its founder, Thunberg, launched the day before to the crowd.
Jayne Whitehead, a 54-year-old landscaper, came along with her two daughters. "I want them to grow up with a hopeful future, to enjoy the world as we did when we were young, and to be able to look forward without fear," he said.
"A single day does not change everything, but we have to do everything possible and today this is something we can do" despite the storm, she acknowledged.
From Australia to Brazil, through South Korea or Canada, over a hundred similar marches were planned around the world.
Blah blah blah
"Enough blah blah, climate action now," read a banner in Sydney, denouncing the position of the Australian government, defender of the national mining industry.
In Seoul, 500 people called for concrete action in a country that largely meets its energy needs by importing coal.
COP26 must agree on how to meet the objectives set in 2015 by the Paris Agreement to limit the increase in global average temperature between 1.5ºC and 2ºC and avoid the devastating natural disasters that each additional tenth of a degree implies.
In the middle of the negotiations, some countries pledged this week to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, to stop using coal as an energy source, to end foreign financing of fossil fuels, to curb deforestation, and to reduce the emission of methane.
All this after a major study showed that global emissions are on track to reach pre-pandemic levels in 2021, which dramatically reduced all economic activity.