COP26: Hundreds rally in Newcastle demanding climate action

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Newcastle to demand action on climate change from the world leaders who attended COP26 this week.

The rally was one of 15 taking place around the country in response to the climate change conference in Glasgow.

The organisers of the COP 26 Coalition North East said the key word is "action".

One organiser, Tony Dowling, said: "We’re code red alert for climate ok, after 25 COPs, so words are cheap, but we need to see action."

Another organiser, Anya Cook, said: "We need a complete rethink about fossil fuels, about energy production, but also about workers and protecting jobs as we make that change."

The march left Newcastle's Civic Centre at 12pm and streamed down Northumberland Street as some onlookers applauded, before ending at Grey's Monument in the city centre.

One young climate activist, Gwen Lewis-Hedley of the North Tyneside Youth Strike for Climate group took to the Monument to speak to the gathered protesters.

The 13-year-old from Whitley Bay told ITV News: "It can’t wait till we’re older to take this action, so we as young people need to demand it and the big message is targeting COP 26, because climate change affects all of us and it’s our futures. We need some kind of confidence that these world leaders are going to make the difference that we really need."

A parent of some of the members of that group said she wanted to support her children in their campaign.

Sophie Buxton said: "I’m here supporting my kids, who are really passionate about saving the planet. You can see there’s fires, there’s floods, people that are losing their lives, their livelihoods and we’re just carrying on as though everything is normal and, you know, we’ve got to not just make promises, but act on them."