Young campaigners seize spotlight at COP26 as Greta Thunberg leads protest outside climate summit


Newsfresh24 _Young climate activists have poured into Glasgow and surrounded the site of the COP26 summit to demand action from global leaders, as the focus of the event turns toward the impact of climate change on future generations.

Thousands of demonstrators covered the streets of the Scottish city on Friday, with many bearing placards that warned of the effects of rising temperatures and extreme weather events. 

Eighteen-year-old campaigner Greta Thunberg was set to speak to protesters later, more than three years after she founded the "Fridays for Future" school strikes movement that galvanized youth action over climate change.

Crowds chanted "We are unstoppable, another world is possible," and other slogans as they attempted to attract attention near the venue. A large police contingent corralled crowds as they grew throughout the morning.

Daisy Deakin, a 7-year-old from Glasgow accompanied by her mother Isabel, said she wanted to come to the protest to see Thunberg.

"She saves the world from climate change," she told CNN, as she displayed a sign saying "Save our planet."

"Our parents will die from old age. Our children will die from climate change," warned a banner carried by 22-year-old Maia Runciman, originally from Texas and now living in Glasgow.

"I'm here to push world leaders to put the [climate] policies in place and protect the world for the future," she said.

Inside, young people were also the focus of the summit. The theme of the event's fifth day was "youth and public empowerment," with leaders seeking to appeal to younger audiences worldwide as they pressed ahead with negotiations.

"I talk to people who are frustrated all the time, and I consider myself one of the frustrated," the United States' climate envoy John Kerry said in response to protests outside.

Leaders have so far announced a series of climate pledges at the conference, including a deforestation commitment, a deal on coal and a plan to stop investing public finances into fossil fuel projects abroad.

But many of the young activists are urging more radical commitments, as the United Nations warns that the world is not adapting fast enough to the climate crisis.

Thunberg's speech on Friday comes after a week in which she has been mobbed by supporters and members of the media.

On Monday, the activist joined other "Fridays for Future" campaigners at a demonstration at Festival Park in Glasgow, near the UN climate summit, where she once again mocked politicians for their inaction on climate.

She said the politicians and delegates gathered at the COP talks were "pretending to take our future seriously."

Change is not going to come from inside there. That is not leadership, this is leadership," Thunberg added, referring to the group of protesters assembled outside.

"This is what leadership looks like. We say no more blah blah blah, no more exploitation of people and nature and the planet... No more whatever the f**k they're doing inside there," she continued.

Credit by CNN 

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