Unifying for change: Youngsters make their voices heard at climate march
As week one of COP26 drew to a close world leaders gathered at the main conference site to take part in sessions with titles such as ‘Unifying for Change: The Global Youth Voice at COP 26’ and ‘Intergenerational Inquiry: Youth Stepping Up Climate Action’.
Across town, tens of thousands of youths gathered to make their feelings known, as a mass climate march made its way from Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park to a rally in George Square.
With their banners held high and their chants ringing out, the message the youngsters sent was clear: they do not believe our leaders are taking the threat of climate change seriously enough and nor to they believe those leaders' actions are far-reaching enough.
Here, some of the marchers share their hopes and fears for the future.
Nathaniel, age 8
Personally, I think that our leaders are not doing enough but if we work as a team we can achieve the impossible.
At the march today I saw a lot of posters and as I’m writing this I’m thinking about my carbon footprint and also about how what could be done isn’t being done.
I understand that people like Greta are trying but what we have is a conference of leaders coming from goodness knows where but they will go in there and talk for five hours and come out with nothing.
I know I shouldn’t go in with that attitude but Joe Biden and Boris Johnson and all the other people will talk for ages and not change a thing but WE can do that together.
I personally loved the march, it was fun but if our leaders were smarter we wouldn’t have had to do that march. One of my friends had made a sign saying “if you were smarter we would be in school” and I just loved that. I thought that was such a good poster.
Now I’m sitting here and hearing all the fireworks and thinking is that the best thing to do after a climate change march even though I love fireworks. I think that we shouldn’t be doing that.
Jamie, age 10
The park was throbbing with people and stalls. Soon thousands assembled on the long avenue with Greta Thunberg and the press in the lead.
I was excited to take part in such a historic march but nervous by the enormity of it.
The people all around me were in the marching mood, whistling whistles, playing the drums and chanting the protest lyrics “what do we want, climate justice, when do we want it, now”.
I really wanted to do this because I think the world leaders and the governments have to listen to our generation and not just leave it as our problem to solve.
Leila, age 8
I wanted to take part in this protest because I want to make a difference and help stop climate change.
I was very excited to go on the march because I knew this was going to be a historic one.
When it began I felt like the entire world had come to Glasgow because the crowds were just so big and endless!
But then again it was all a good feeling.
I hope that this march will inspire all the world leaders to make a good decision on what they decide to do at COP26 and that they stick to what they say.
August, age 11
I went on the march today because we need to take action and we need to save our future.
On the march today I felt good because there were so many people protesting and wanting the government to change.
I hope that the world leaders will start taking action instead of just talking. I hope they will start doing things sooner and act now.
We need to take action because other countries are suffering because of what we have done. We must change what we are doing before it is too late.
We need to act NOW!