COP26: Thousands of demonstrators due to march on Glasgow during climate summit

Up to 150,000 people from all walks of life are expected to turn out on the streets of Glasgow in early November as part of a worldwide day of action during the COP26 climate summit.

They will be joined by up to two million others, spread across at least 20 countries, in demonstrations to highlight the environmental emergency and its impacts on the planet’s most vulnerable people.

The mass mobilisation will take on place on November 6 and is being organised by the COP26 Coalition, a UK-based civil society partnership of diverse groups and individuals campaigning for climate justice.

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They are calling for world leaders to ensure fairness and support for communities in some of the poorest countries which are already suffering severe effects of global warming.

Construction workers prepare the site of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which will see world leaders and up to 300,000 visitors come to the city in November
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Organisers believe the international conference, which will be attended by world leaders and delegates from nearly 200 countries, offers the perfect chance to get their voices heard.

Luke Henderson, Edinburgh chair of the COP26 Coalition, said: “We have a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people in Scotland to take action on a world stage,” he said.

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“We’ll never again have global leaders in Scotland on this scale and at such a critical time in history.”

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Edinburgh chair of the COP26 coalition Luke Henderson will be joining around 150,000 campaigners for a mass demonstration on 6 November

COP26 (the 26th UN Conference of Parties), hosted by the UK government, is taking place in Glasgow from 31 October until 12 November.

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It was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The COP26 Coalition was set up two years ago, with members including indigenous communities, environmental and development organisations, trade unions, grassroots campaigns, migrant and racial justice networks, faith groups and youth collectives.

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One of its aims is to help raise local awareness of the climate talks and what they mean.

Scientist Graeme Eddolls, a member of the COP26 Coalition’s Glasgow working group, is calling for Scots to mobilise "in solidarity with our friends in the global south" and join a mass demonstration on 6 November
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Scientist and campaigner Graeme Eddolls, a member of COP26 coalition’s Glasgow working group, believes demonstrations are “more important than ever” during the summit, especially since many of the most afflicted nations will struggle to attend the conference due to Covid red list travel restrictions and prohibitive costs of accommodation.

“We ask every Glaswegian to join the COP26 Coalition mobilisation march on 6 November,” he said.

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“If the UK government wants to plough ahead in making this the most exclusive COP in history it is even more vital that Glaswegians stand in solidarity with our friends in the global south in order to amplify the voices of those most marginalised and impacted by the climate crisis.

“The people of Glasgow themselves will see huge climate impacts, with projected flooding along the Clyde by 2050, including the COP26 venue itself, impacting some of the poorest areas of our city.

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“We call on Glaswegians to come out in force, particularly if COP26 goes ahead without delay, in order to represent silenced and excluded voices both of the global south and for the future generations here in Glasgow.”

Around 10,000 officers are due to be deployed each day during COP26 in what will be one of the biggest ever policing operations in the UK.

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COP26 Coalition members are providing information and support for anyone who would like to take part in the march and demonstration.

The group is also calling for people in Glasgow to host people travelling to the city for the summit but who cannot afford to pay inflated accommodation costs.

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