Huge Cop26 march through Cardiff planned on Saturday demanding climate action
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
A huge march through the centre of Cardiff is planned on Saturday demanding action on the climate crisis.
Tens of thousands in Cardiff, Glasgow, London and 14 other UK cities are expected to march on November 6, for “just and fair solutions” to the crisis at the United Nation climate talks.
World leaders are meeting this week in Glasgow for the historic Cop26 summit to agree plans on cutting carbon emissions to net zero and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.
The demonstration in Cardiff will begin outside City Hall at 12pm and then rally outside the Senedd by 2pm, before hearing speeches from campaigners.
Clare James, demonstration organiser, said: “More people than ever now realise behaviour change is only part of the solution, as we can only ever make changes within the capitalist systems and infrastructure we are given.
“We know that Cop26 is unlikely to deliver the solutions we need, so we’re encouraging everyone to join us and demand a system change for future generations, because it’s what we do together once Cop26 is over that will be more important.”
Sophie Howe, the future generations commissioner for Wales, encouraged people in Cardiff to take to the streets demanding action, in a video recorded to promote the demonstration.
She said: “In the last few years we have seen solid actions from governments: a moratorium on road building, new investment in making our homes more energy efficient, and commitment to zero waste by 2050. But there’s a lot more we need to do.
“We need long term investment plans. We need to make sure we are scrutinising forensically how we’re spending our money, and whether that money is increasing our carbon debt or decreasing it. We need to make sure we’re investing in the skills now to create good quality green jobs for the future, in order to enable us to reach that net zero transition.
“Please don’t underestimate the power of your actions. It is the power of citizens from across the world who are scrutinising their governments and holding them to account. Working together to make sure we’re holding policy makers to account, I believe there is a real chance in Wales that we can and will say we’re acting today for a better tomorrow.”
The march organisers are keen for families to attend the demonstration on Saturday, with a ‘family bloc’ planned. Rachel and Steve Buckley said they were attending the march with their five-year-old daughter, Ada.
Ms Buckley said: “We are taking part in the Cop26 march in Cardiff because it feels like now is the time to demonstrate our concerns for the future of the planet. We have realised that if we want a safe and happy future for our daughter, we need to let world leaders know that we are unhappy for things to remain as they are and we want the climate crisis to be at the top of their agendas.
“Up until now we have privately done what we can, becoming vegan, reducing plastic waste, but it is now clear change needs to happen on a bigger scale. We would encourage other families to join the march too and fight for their children’s futures. For us it means that at the very least, we will know we tried to change things for Ada and hopefully if enough of us come together we will be a big enough voice that things will change for the better.”
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I was telling my Year 9 form class this morning that I remember learning about the ‘greenhouse effect’ 35 years ago when I was in school. One pupil then asked me “Sir, if they knew about it all those years ago, why are they only just doing something now?”
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