Today, COP26 Coalition activists from across Glasgow were met on the Clyde by the boat ​Saorsa​ (freedom in Gaelic) in a protest demanding climate justice and to mark the date of the COP26 UN Climate Negotiations. The boat read SAME STORM DIFFERENT BOATS​ a​ nd ​Covid – Climate Change – Racism = Different Shite, Common Cause. ​Activists from Extinction Rebellion, Glasgow Calls Out Polluters and Friends of the Earth Scotland joined.

The global pandemic has made clear that the multiple crises we face today – climate breakdown, ecological destruction, racism, patriarchy, hunger, poverty, the mass displacement of peoples – are all interconnected. These crises share common roots that see the earth’s resources exploited for the benefit of the few at the cost of the many, and the poor and marginalised bear the worst consequences. We may all be in the midst of the same storm, but we are patently not all in the same boat.

Our role is to demand climate action which truly addresses the nature and scale of the interlinked crises we face. In the face of escalating ecological breakdown, of which the pandemic is merely the first great disruption, we must be ready to respond as never before to the challenges of rising instability and growing inequality. We must commit resources to where they are most needed – on the frontlines of the climate crisis and the extractive frontier.

Around the world grassroots movements are speaking truth to power. From the movement for black lives, to indigenous resistance, feminist struggles to end gendered violence and demand reproductive justice, millions are clear about the need for structural change. Hope lies within these movements, demonstrating our power to transform society and create a better world. We make change from the ground up and will continue to do so.

Read more of our statement in our ​We Are Not All In The Same Boat

Scottish COP26 Coalition Coordinator Quan Nguyen said,​ “​We don’t have another year to wait for governments and corporations to get ready, we don’t have time to wait for climate justice. We face multiple crises at the same time that stem from the same source – COVID, job losses, racism, poverty and the climate crisis – and they all require the same solution: transformation of society, a radical rethink of how our economic systems are run and putting those who are suffering the most from the climate crisis first.

We need the UK and Scottish Governments to acknowledge that their targets of net zero 2045 and 2050 are not only too late, but open loopholes for fossil fuel corporations who have caused the crisis in the first place to continue polluting and burning the planet. These targets don’t work – we need to embrace real solutions that come from the ground up. The Government need to hold polluters to account, shut down fossil fuel corporations and fossil fuel sites. They need to stop exporting fossil fuel technology, and start paying reparations to countries and communities in the Global South.”

Scott Tully from Glasgow Calls Out Polluters: ​“W​ e are sick of empty catchphrases like Climate Ambition and Net Zero being thrown about by the UK Government. This is a government that has until now avoided announcing a Paris-aligned decarbonisation plan, which is shocking for the host nation of COP26. We think they are more interested in posturing on the global stage than taking action, partly because action often means challenging their wealthy friends; the very people who bear most responsibility for the climate crisis. But whilst our government avoids responsibility, grassroots activists will continue to amplify the demands for climate justice.”

This action followed COVID safe social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitising guidelines

Thanks to Jaye Renold for the photographs.