Socialist Worker

Angry protests confront ‘greenwashing’ at Cop26

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2779

Climate rebels in Glasgow demand action from world leaders

Climate rebels in Glasgow demand action from world leaders (Pic: Andrew McGowan)

Glasgow is alive with angry protests at the Cop26 climate conference. 

Hundreds of cops have overrun the city, but activists bravely defied the intimidation. 

Extinction Rebellion (XR) held a Peace March on Thursday to highlight the impact of war on climate change. Signs read, “Cop26—count the military carbon boot print,” and, “We are watching you.”

And on Wednesday, hundreds of XR  activists took to the streets to expose world leaders’ “greenwashing”.

XR rebels targeted banks. Outside JP Morgan, they held up a banner that read, “JP Morgan world’s dirtiest bank.”

At the greenwashing march there were early signs that police were stepping up their repression. 

XR Scotland said, “Any claim by the police that they are following a ‘human rights approach’ has been proven spectacularly false. 

“Drastic over-policing and use of violent force against peaceful protesters have been Police Scotland's immediate position as well as denying our human right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.”

XR Scotland added, “As tools of the state, the police are aiding these malicious governments and companies to get away with their crimes.”

The cops kettled protesters at several points during the march. 


A group of activists occupied the former Hamish Allan Centre, a Glasgow City Council property that has been empty for some time.

In a public statement, the activists said the accommodation is available to anyone who is struggling to find shelter during Cop26. 

Inside the conference a host of countries have pledged to move away from using coal, but several countries most reliant on the dirtiest energy source failed to sign up. 

Countries including South Korea, Ukraine, Chile and Poland have pledged to phase out coal use. Larger economies plan to phase it out by the 2030s and smaller ones by the 2040s

Coal mine bosses rake in bumper profits as politicians shaft planet
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But Australia, India, the US and China declined to sign up for this agreement.

China has recently stepped up coal production after its price skyrocketed. 

The US will use an estimated 22 percent more coal  in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

More than 100 countries pledged to cut down on methane emissions on Wednesday. It is a greenhouse gas that, similarly to Carbon dioxide, traps the sun’s energy to contribute to global warming. 

The plans, first proposed in September of this year, aimed to reduce global methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. 

But these pledges are hot air.

Even if countries stuck to them, they would not be enough to stop temperatures rising to critical levels. Phasing out coal use or reducing methane emissions by 2030 or 2040 is not enough.

Fossil fuel use must end to reduce greenhouse emissions now. 

We need more protests, strikes and action to disrupt the world leaders’ conference of climate chaos.

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