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COP26: Climate Crisis News: Protesters around the world demand action on climate crisis| Climate Crisis News
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COP26: Climate Crisis News: Protesters around the world demand action on climate crisis| Climate Crisis News


Protests are underway in cities around the globe for a second day as part of a global mobilization against what campaigners call a lack of urgency to address climate change at a crunch United Nations climate summitGlasgow, Scotland

More than 200 events will be held worldwide on Saturday, from Paris to Sydney, Nairobi and Seoul, to call for immediate action in support of communities already affected by climate changes, especially in the South.

Police and organizers in Glasgow said that they expected up to 50,000 people marching through the streets of Glasgow near the COP26 summit venue. This area is under tight security.

“The mood is mixed here,” Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Glasgow, said. “There is anger, there is some form of celebratory tactics to be used, and there is real concern particularly among the families who have joined the demonstrations.

“We’re seeing many children and families turning out, and the message primarily to the climate diplomats is one of you must stand accountable. We are halfway through COP26 right now, and the pressure has never been greater,” he added.

Nearly 200 countries’ delegates are gathering in Glasgow to discuss how to achieve the Paris Agreement goals of limiting temperature increases to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius (34.7 to 35.6 Fahrenheit).

Some countries have already signed up to pledges of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Separate deals have been made on phasing off coal, ending foreign fossil fuel financing, and slashing methane.

These promises were made after a significant assessment which showed that global carbon dioxide emissions would rebound in 2021 to prepandemic levels.

But campaigners have been left unimpressed by the summit, with prominent environmental activist Greta Thunberg calling it a “failure”.

“They cannot ignore the scientific consensus and they cannot ignore us,” said Thunberg.

“This is no longer a climate conference. This is now a global greenwashing festival.”

‘We want more’

In Australia on Saturday, more than 1,000 protesters in Sydney and Melbourne – some dressed as lumps of coal or Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a vigorous defender of the mining industry – labelled the talks “a sham” and their national leader “an absolute embarrassment”.

“No more blah, blah blah. Real climate action now,” read one sign at a protest in Sydney.

“We’re all out here to show that we want more from our government,” Georgia, one of the protesters, told the Reuters news agency.

Melbourne’s protest was smaller than Sydney’s, with just a few hundred people turning out for a rally that also featured a giant koala emitting plumes of smoke and protesters dressed as skeletons on bikes.

Several smaller events were held in Australia.

Seoul, South Korea’s capital, saw around 500 protestors take to the streets in support of communities already affected by the effects of the heating planet.

South Korea has few energy resources of its own and relies on imported coal – a cheap but dirty fuel – for about 40 percent of the electricity powering the world’s 12th-largest economy, according to figures from the International Energy Agency.

Although the country wants to become carbon neutral by 2050 it is opposed by local activists who claim that this goal can only be achieved with fundamental changes.

“At COP26, the expected ‘blah blah blah’ is taking place,” Climate Strike, one of the organising groups of Saturday’s march in Seoul, said.

Protesters in Turkey called for more action to save the planet for future generations.

“I want my children to live on a beautiful planet in the future,” said protester Kadriye Basut in Istanbul. “I think we owe that to our children and the planet,” she added.

Baris Gencer Baykal (University lecturer) was also present at the demonstration. He criticised the 2050 targets of world leaders and called on the end of coal use earlier.

“It cannot be postponed any longer,” he said. “We want climate justice.”

Activists participate in the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice (COP26) on day seven of United Nations Climate Change Conference in Istanbul [Dilara Senkaya/Reuters]

‘It can’t go on like this’

The COP26 negotiations resumed on Saturday. On Sunday, a pause was made. Next week promises to be a busy week of shuttle diplomacy. Ministers arrive in an effort to reach hard-fought compromises across a range of issues.

The Paris agreement still requires countries to clarify how the pledges will be implemented in practice. This includes rules governing carbon markets, reporting timeframes, transparency, and rules governing transparency.

The UN says that countries entered COP26 with national climate plans. These plans, when combined, set Earth on course for a temperature increase of 2.7C (36.9F) in the next century.

Global warming has caused an increase of only 1.1C (34F), in global warming. This means that communities around the world are already suffering from ever greater fires and droughts, as well as displacement and economic ruin.

Brianna Fruean, a Samoan member of the Pacific Climate Warriors, who addressed a world leaders’ summit at the start of COP26, said it was time for leaders to take note of protesters’ demands.

“It can’t go on like this,” she said. “We refuse to be just victims to this crisis. We are not drowning, we are fighting and on Saturday the world will hear us.”

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