Cop26: Counter-summit kicks off in Glasgow to oppose ‘false promises’ and inaction

‘To deliver justice you have to guarantee that all people are around the table,’ organiser says

Zoe Tidman
Sunday 07 November 2021 11:59 GMT
Climate activists voice frustration outside Glasgow conference

A counter climate summit has kicked off in Glasgow ahead of the final week of Cop26, with activists criticising “false promises” and inaction from world leaders at the UN-led conference.

The People’s Summit for Climate Justice, which is running from Sunday to Wednesday, will host around 200 sessions in-person and online.

Organisers said it will “centre the voices of the most marginalised, those who are being hit hardest by climate change right now, and the people resisting and organising for change”.

Jana Ahlers, the counter summit’s programme co-ordinator, said the counter-event will bring together “indigenous peoples, bus drivers, film makers, refugees, pilots, farmers, feminists, forest dwellers, artists, doctors, anti-racists and climate justice activists”.

“To deliver justice you have to guarantee that all people are around the table,” she said.

The summit will include workshops on how to sue fossil fuel companies and on defending the right to protest, a tour of Glasgow’s biggest polluters and sessions on climate movements from around the world.

It comes after protesters rallied in cities across the world to demand climate justice on Saturday in a day of action, which was also organised by the Cop26 Coalition.

Thousands took to the street in London on the final weekend of the Glasgow climate summit.

Speaking about the counter summit, Harpreet Kaur Paul from climate campaign group Tipping Point UK said: “What is on the table for discussion at Cop26 falls far short of what justice and science demand.”

She said this meant it was “essential” to participate in the People’s Summit.

Ramon Mejia from the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance said the event was an “opportunity for our members, frontline communities and global movements to ensure our voices are heard”.

He added: “We will oppose false promises like ‘net-zero’ commitments, uplift real solutions from the frontlines, and demand our governments take the aggressive action required for climate justice and to be accountable to the People and the Planet.”

Indigenous groups have complained of being sidelined by the main Cop26 event at Glasgow’s SEC.

“We still don’t have a seat at the table,” Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, told The Independent this week. “In some areas [of the venue] we don’t have access, and they’re very critical in terms of negotiations. So we’re forced to try to grab people in the hallways.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in