GLASGOW (Al Jazeera) – Protests were underway for a second day on Saturday in cities around the world as part of a global mobilization against what campaigners say is a lack of urgency to address global warming at a crunch United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
From Paris to Sydney, Nairobi to Seoul, more than 200 events were planned worldwide on Saturday to demand immediate action for communities already affected by climate change, particularly in the poorer countries in the South.
In Glasgow, organizers and police said up to 50,000 people took part to parade through the streets of the city near the COP26 summit venue, which was under tight security.
“The mood is mixed here,” Al Jazeera reporter from Glasgow said. “There is anger, there is some form of celebratory tactics to be used, and there is real concern particularly among the families who have joined the demonstrations.
“We’re seeing many children and families turning out, and the message primarily to the climate diplomats is one of you must stand accountable. We are halfway through COP26 right now, and the pressure has never been greater,” he added.
Delegates from nearly 200 countries are in Glasgow to hammer out how to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting temperature rises to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius (34.7 to 35.6 Fahrenheit).
So far, some countries have signed up to pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, with separate deals on phasing out coal, ending foreign fossil fuel funding and slashing methane.
The promises followed a significant assessment that showed global carbon dioxide emissions were set to rebound in 2021 to pre-pandemic levels.
In Australia on Saturday, more than 1,000 protesters in Sydney and Melbourne – some dressed as lumps of coal or Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a vigorous defender of the mining industry – labeled the talks “a sham” and their national leader “an absolute embarrassment”.
“No more blah, blah blah. Real climate action now,” read one sign at a protest in Sydney.
“We’re all out here to show that we want more from our government,” Georgia, one of the protesters, told the Reuters news agency.
Meanwhile, the South Korean capital of Seoul saw approximately 500 demonstrators take to the streets demanding immediate action for communities already hit by the fallout of a heating planet.
South Korea has few energy resources of its own and relies on imported coal – a cheap but dirty fuel – for about 40 percent of the electricity powering the world’s 12th-largest economy, according to figures from the International Energy Agency.
COP26 negotiations continued on Saturday before taking a pause on Sunday ahead of what is shaping up to be a frantic week of shuttle diplomacy, as ministers arrive to push through hard-fought compromises on a number of issues.
Countries still need to flesh out how pledges made in the Paris deal will work in practice, including rules governing carbon markets, common reporting timeframes and transparency.