COP26: Arrests made as Extinction Rebellion block roads and protest outside Glasgow banks

ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith witnessed the skirmishes between police and environmental protestors on the third day of the COP26 summit in Glasgow

Five people have been arrested after hundreds of protestors descended on Glasgow as part of another day of Extinction Rebellion demonstrations around the COP26 climate summit.

ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith witnessed skirmishes between police and environmental protestors on the third day of the conference which resulted in the arrests.

One man appeared to spray green paint towards police officers before he was handcuffed and led away.

Police Scotland confirmed on Wednesday evening that five arrests had been made, after a number of officers were sprayed with paint. Cans of spray paint were also seized.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: “Assaults on officers, who put their safety at risk every day to keep the public safe and have adopted a facilitative and rights-based approach to protest, is totally unacceptable.”

Many of the protesters congregated around the Glasgow branch of JP Morgan with demonstrators holding banners calling the company the "world's dirtiest bank".

Traffic was stopped in several streets as demonstrators made their way through the city.

ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith said protesters were also seen attempting to spray paint on the SSE building in Glasgow.

Robb Callender, a protester from London, said police were being “quite aggressive” towards those on the march.

He said SSE were “talking a big talk but doing nothing” on the climate.

Earlier, activists campaigning against the Cambo oil field staged a mock ceremony featuring “the Queen” turning off the taps to the oil pipeline.

Various climate activist groups have been protesting outside the summit since it began on Sunday.

Demonstrators have called on governments to move faster and make stronger commitments to prevent climate change.

World leaders have made pledges so far when it comes to making real change, but many say they have fallen far short of what is required.

Top officials, including prime minister Boris Johnson, have made gloomy statements over the prospect of keeping the dream of limiting global warming to 1.5C alive.

The COP27 climate conference - what you need to know

What is COP27? 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.

COP27 is the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties summit which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from November 6-18.

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 COP27:

  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is attending the conference, after initially saying he wouldn't as he was too busy focusing on the economy within his first weeks in office.

  • US President Joe Biden and his experienced climate envoy, John Kerry, will appear at the talks.

  • France President Emmanuel Macron will also be among the heads of state from around the world staying in Egypt.

King Charles III will not be attending COP27, despite being a staunch advocate for the environment. The decision was made jointly by Buckingham Palace and former prime minister Liz Truss.

Elsewhere, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will not attend the talks just as they decided to do for COP26.

Back to top

What is it hoping to achieve?

1. Ensure full implementation of the Paris Agreement and putting negotiations into concrete actions - included within this is the target of limiting global warming to well below 2C.

2. Cementing progress on the critical workstreams of mitigation, adaptation, finance and loss and damage, while stepping up finance notably to tackle the impacts of climate change.

3. Enhancing the delivery of the principles of transparency and accountability throughout the UN Climate Change process.

Back to top

Prominent climate activist Greta Thunberg has also been taking part in protests in Glasgow.

Extinction Rebellion held a similar protest outside the main conference on Tuesday.