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We cry for climate justice through mass mobilization in Madrid

Today in Madrid, the city hosting this year’s global climate talks, tens of thousands of people will be taking to the streets to demand a faster and more transformative response to the climate crisis.

Members of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland together with SCIAF, Christian Aid Scotland, Oxfam Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland, and WWF are in Madrid for the talks and will join protesters from around the world to demand immediate action from world leaders to  keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees, and demand climate justice for those most affected by the climate crisis.

The 25th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known as COP25, was relocated from Chile to Madrid at short notice after civil unrest in Santiago over severe inequality in the country. The two weeks of talks in Madrid, under a Chilean Presidency, run until 13th December. In 2020, the climate talks will be held in Glasgow.

Climate strike

The march in the Spanish capital comes mid-way through the global talks, and on the same day as thousands of people will take to the streets in Chile, and around the world. It comes amid intense pressure for rich, high-polluting countries to enhance financial support for poorer countries to reduce their emissions while adapting to and recovering from growing climate impacts.

SCCS coalition manager Kat Jones said: 

We need to harness all the energy here on the streets of Madrid and around the world and to keep building momentum throughout the next 12 months ahead of these UN climate talks coming to Glasgow in November 2020.

The COP26 in Glasgow could see one of the biggest climate mobilisations the world has seen. People have never been more concerned, and we are seeing unprecedented levels of participation in climate action and climate campaigning from all parts of civil society. Over the next 12 months, we need all parts of Scottish society to play their part in building momentum towards these vital talks so that they leave a lasting legacy of climate action.

Scotland is already feeling the effects of climate change, but the worst of the effects of the climate crisis are being felt in the poorest countries of the world where droughts, heatwaves, and floods are hitting people hard. 

Kat said:

The countries that are suffering the most from climate change are also those who have done least to cause it. Too often their voices and demands are ignored at the annual UN climate talks, with too little delivery of climate-just action at the scale and speed required.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is calling for world leaders to heed the voices of those most affected in these talks. Glasgow will be the fourth annual UN climate talks in a row to take place in the global north, making it much harder for global south civil society to participate. We want to see the UK Government and the Scottish Government do everything they can to remove barriers to global south participation in COP26 in Glasgow. The Glasgow talks must genuinely be the world’s COP

Hemantha Withanage of the Centre for Climate Justice Sri Lanka said:

It is a huge challenge for people on the ground to communicate their concerns during international negotiations, and the COP in Glasgow must create a welcoming environment for the people in the global south to be heard.

This should be a “People’s COP” where the voices of real people on the front line of climate change are included in decision making. Too often in these forums bureaucrats and technocrats decide everything on our behalf.