Home Feature news Climate protesters go hard as COP26 commences

Climate protesters go hard as COP26 commences

International leaders joined host and British Prime MinisterBoris Johnson in Glasgow this week for the COP26 Climate Change Conference to address the global community’s commitments to climate action and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Protesters, as usual, joined discussions from outside the summit representing a number of organizations, including Glasgow-based climate activists, global networks like Oxfam and Extinction Rebellion, and youth activists from Fridays for Future.

Initial protest actions ranged from public marches to detailed art installations, like Ocean Rebellion‘s rolling fishing boat that deposited garbage (including protesters dressed as dead mer-people) outside the COP26 venue. Young activists marched alongside the River Clyde and convened in Glasgow’s Festival Park, while other protesters marched through subways and stood outside JP Morgan offices in town, demanding the bank stop investing in the fossil fuel industry.


“Failure is not an option. Failure is a death sentence.”

Inside the summit, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addressed world leaders on the first day of the 26th annual conference and appeared to agree with what many of the protesters have long said: Current commitments are not enough to turn around the climate crisis and leaders have to be more honest about it.

“Recent climate action announcements might give the impression that we are on track to turn things around. This is an illusion,” Guterres said. “So, as we open this much anticipated climate conference, we are still heading for climate disaster. Young people know it. Every country sees it. Small Island Developing States — and other vulnerable ones — live it. For them, failure is not an option. Failure is a death sentence.”

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Expect to see even more public installations like the ones below. COP26 meetings continue until Nov. 12.

Environmental group Ocean Rebellion stages a fishing boat scooping up garbage and dead mer-people outside COP26 meetings in Glasgow, Scotland.
Credit: ian forsyth/ Getty Images
Oxfam protesters dress up as U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson "blowing hot air" outside the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow.

Oxfam protesters dress up as U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “blowing hot air” outside the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow.
Credit: chris jackson/ Getty Images
International leaders,  played by members of climate group Glasgow Actions Team, participate in a climate-themed Squid Game.

International leaders,  played by members of climate group Glasgow Actions Team, participate in a climate-themed Squid Game.
Credit: Andrew Milligan/ PA Images via Getty Images
Youth climate activists from Fridays for Future wave banners demanding climate action at Festival Park in Glasgow.

Youth climate activists from Fridays for Future wave banners demanding climate action at Festival Park in Glasgow.
Credit: JONEE roriz/ Bloomberg via Getty Images
Climate activists Vanessa Nakate and Greta Thunberg join a group of protesters.

Climate activists Vanessa Nakate and Greta Thunberg join a group of protesters.
Credit: peter summers/ Getty Images
Activists from Extinction Rebellion's Red Rebel Brigade paraded through subway stations and stood outside the COP26 meetings, issuing a climate red alert.

Activists from Extinction Rebellion’s Red Rebel Brigade paraded through subway stations and stood outside the COP26 meetings, issuing a climate red alert.
Credit: Andrew Milligan/ PA Images via Getty Images
A protester in a chicken costume marches outside the summit.

A protester in a chicken costume marches outside the summit.
Credit: peter summers/ Getty Images
Kenyan climate activist Eric Ngunga speaks to a crowd next to the River Clyde  in Glasgow.

Kenyan climate activist Eric Ngunga speaks to a crowd next to the River Clyde  in Glasgow.
Credit: andrew milligan/ PA Images via Getty Images
Activists dressed as oil slicks protest outside Grangemouth Oil Refinery in Glasgow.

Activists dressed as oil slicks protest outside Grangemouth Oil Refinery in Glasgow.
Credit: andrew milligan/ PA Images via Getty Images
Extinction Rebellion protesters keep an eye on JP Morgan offices.

Extinction Rebellion protesters keep an eye on JP Morgan offices.
Credit: peter summers/ Getty Images
Photos of French President Emmanuel Macron hung upside down outside the COP26 venue.

Photos of French President Emmanuel Macron hung upside down outside the COP26 venue.
Credit: peter summers/ Getty Images
A protester totes a sign outside the JP Morgan office in Glasgow.

A protester totes a sign outside the JP Morgan office in Glasgow.
Credit: peter summers/ Getty Images
Members of Extinction Rebellion escorted an international group that participated in a 500 mile-long pilgrimage from London to Glasgow.

Members of Extinction Rebellion escorted an international group that participated in a 500 mile-long pilgrimage from London to Glasgow.
Credit: christopher furlong/ Getty Images
Activists from Ocean Rebellion projected an image of Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the outside of the Grangemouth Oil Refinery.

Activists from Ocean Rebellion projected an image of Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the outside of the Grangemouth Oil Refinery.
Credit: andrew milligan/ PA Images via Getty Images

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