COP27: Hundreds march in Cardiff for action on climate change as demonstrations take place across UK

  • 'It's going to be much worse in 10 or 20 years, the scale of what we have to do is massive'

Hundreds of people marched through Cardiff, joining demonstrations across the country, calling for "climate justice".

The marches on Saturday 12 November were timed to coincide with the COP27 UN global climate summit taking place in Egypt. Around 120 world leaders and 30,000 people will attend the two-week event, which is focussed on action needed to limit temperature rises to 1.5C.

Those in Cardiff spoke of the "massive" scale of change needed to turn the tide on global warming.

In the Welsh capital, people gathered at City Hall for speeches before making their way through the centre and down to the city's library.

One of those taking part was Kense Hayan, who said the richer countries particularly need to recognise how their emissions affect the poorer countries.

Ms Hayan, who marched with others from Women Connect First, said: "We are here to demonstrate how climate change affects everybody, especially the poorer countries.

"Pakistan is under water, in East Africa there's starvation - people are dying and for what? For climate change. We want the rich countries to see these things and make a change."

She added that things will only get worse and we need to protect the planet for the future generations - like her children and grandchildren.

Some at the march said the situation was ebbing closer towards "disaster" but we can still make a change to stop that happening.

Another on the march said climate change "is the biggest issue of our time and it's not being given the priority it needs right now".

They added: "The science has been clear for so long and we still don't have the action that we need and we're still getting closer and closer to disaster. But it's not too late, we can still make the solution happen."

Caspar Harris was also at the Cardiff event and said he was attending "mainly because of inaction on climate change from world governments".

Mr Harris has seen firsthand how global warming is affecting us now. His business in the south Wales valleys was flooded two-and-a-half years ago.

He said: "Every time we get really heavy rain, which we've had for almost three or four see that river level getting higher and there's no guarantee it's not going to happen - you know it's going to happen again at some point."

He added: "Already we're seeing this extreme weather.

"It's going to be much worse in 10 or 20 years, the scale of what we have to do is massive."

Hundreds walked through the capital expressing the need for global leaders to do more to tackle climate change.

The day of action was organised by the Climate Justice Coalition, which is made up of a range of groups and individuals across the UK who want to see action on the climate emergency.

It said: “Global temperatures, rising. Energy bills, rising. Billionaire profits, rising. While people are being forced to choose between heating and eating, energy companies are making record-breaking profits. 

“From bailouts to big business, ramping up more deadly fossil fuels to trashing nature and cutting our wages the Government is refusing to listen. Their policies both here and globally are causing devastation with working people and people of colour - who have contributed the least to the problem - paying the price with killer famines, floods, crop failures, fires and rising poverty. 

“To stop this crisis we need action that cuts carbon, tackles inequality and ends the injustices baked into our world.” 

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "We are committed to tackling the climate emergency being highlighted by COP27.

"People are at the heart of our approaches and we recognise the right to peaceful protest."

An issue brought up by those on the Cardiff march was the need for richer countries to help other countries most affected by climate change.

One of the central issues at COP27 is limiting temperature rises to 1.5C - as we are currently on course for 2.4-2.6C of warming, which the UN warns would be catastrophic.

Countries agreed under the Paris climate treaty in 2015 to try and limit it to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The COP27 summit will also discuss investment from more developed countries to help poorer nations adapt to climate change, as well as the idea of whether they should provide compensation to countries most vulnerable.