COP26: Glasgow protests and Greta Thunberg's 'no more blah blah blah' message to world leaders

The most famous climate protester in the world could have been posing for selfies with the world leader of her choice at the conference. Instead, she was protesting in one of the poorest parts of Glasgow, ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith reports

Activist Greta Thunberg has said change will not come from the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow as she criticised the “blah blah blah” of world leaders at the global gathering

In a separate protest, Oxfam GB demonstrators dressed as world leaders told ITV News this morning they want to see "immediate action" rather than "hot air" from governments.

Speaking at a protest in the city on Monday afternoon, Ms Thunberg criticised what she said was a lack of leadership and action from governments, before telling the young protesters in Festival Park that they were key to tackling the climate emergency.

“We say no more blah blah blah, no more exploitation of people and nature and the planet", the Swedish activist said.

Greta Thunberg demanded action from world leaders on climate change at a protest in Glasgow today:

Addressing protesters across the river from the COP26 summit, the 18-year-old said: “Inside COP they are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our future seriously.

"Pretending to take the present seriously of the people who are being affected already today by the climate crisis.”

Protesters, dressed as world leaders in kilts, told ITV News this morning that world leaders must "act now" and stop blowing "hot air" on the climate emergency.

Demonstrators from Oxfam GB posed for photos in Glasgow, as leaders and delegates from around the world met for the start of the COP26 climate conference in the city.

Costumes of Boris Johnson, Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders were on display, as part of what protesters called "the hot air big band".

The "hot air" slogan took aim at what Oxfam GB has called a lack of serious action from world leaders on climate change.

Protesters told ITV News: 'the time for climate action is now.' Credit: PA

Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive of Oxfam GB, told ITV News the UK government needs to "lead by example" at the climate conference and must deliver on the promises they've made on tackling climate change.

"This COP has to be about delivery, no more hot air. It has to be about real things to reduce greenhouse gas emissions", he said.

The Oxfam GB head also said climate action is needed to protect "the most vulnerable" countries in the world, that will be worst affected by climate change.

Oxfam GB's Danny Sriskandarajah told ITV News that world leaders must take climate action now:

Oxfam GB's protest comes a week after a United Nations report said the world is not on track to meet its climate action targets and stop the most "catastrophic" effects of climate change.

The report - by the UN Environment Programme - said countries needed to up their climate commitments if we want to stop dangerous levels of global warming.

The opening ceremony of COP26 took place today in Glasgow. Climate talks will continue in the city until November 12.

The COP26 climate conference - what you need to know

What is COP26? When and where will it be?

Each year, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meets at what is called the Conference of the Parties (abbreviated as COP) to discuss the world's progress on climate change and how to tackle it.

COP26 is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties summit which will be held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November.

Who is going?

Leaders of the 197 countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994 - are invited to the summit.

These are some of the world leaders that will be attending COP26:

  • US President Joe Biden, climate envoy John Kerry, climate adviser and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, and 10 other US cabinet officials.

  • Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison. In the days leading up to COP26, Mr Morrison committed Australia to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Prince Charles, Prince William, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge are also attending. The Queen has withdrawn from visiting after being advised by her doctors to rest - she will address the conference virtually instead.

China's President Xi Jinping, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil are among the leaders that have decided not to travel to Glasgow.

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What is it hoping to achieve?

1. Achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels - Countries are being encouraged to set ambitious 2030 emissions targets. They are also encouraged to accelerate the phase-out of coal, clamp down on deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles and encourage investment in renewables.

2. Protect natural habitats and communities from climate change disasters

3. Finances for a greener future - In 2009, developed countries were asked to keep to their promises to contribute at least $100 billion (£72.5 billion) per year by 2020 to protect the planet. In 2015, it was agreed that the goal would be extended to 2025.

However, new analysis shows the goal is unlikely to have been met last year and is on track to fall short in 2021 and 2022.

4. Getting all countries and organisations to work together to tackle the climate crisis

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