Greta Thunberg was not officially invited to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, but she made her presence known on the first day of the conference.
The Swedish teenager, who has become something of a rock star among climate activists worldwide, is among thousands of activists who have descended on Glasgow for the 12-day United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, which began on Sunday. They are urging world leaders to take decisive action to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Thunberg stated in an interview aired on Sunday that the 1.5 Celsius goal was “possible in theory,” but that “it’s up to us if we want that to happen.”
Thunberg arrived in Glasgow by train on Saturday night and was quickly surrounded by a crowd of about a hundred people at the station. She was escorted away by several police officers.
“At long last, I’m in Glasgow for the COP26!” And thank you for the very warm welcome,” the 18-year-old tweeted, along with a photo of herself giving the crowd a thumbs up. The scene was dubbed “Greta Mania” by Scotland’s Sunday Mail newspaper.
Thunberg traveled to Glasgow from London, where she had participated in a protest calling on financial institutions to stop funding fossil fuel extraction.
In an interview, Thunberg stated that in the face of governmental inaction on climate change, anger was sometimes the appropriate response. She was asked about the tactics of climate activists in the United Kingdom, who have been blocking roads in recent weeks.
“To be clear, as long as no one is harmed… “I think you have to annoy some people every now and then,” she explained. “For example, the school strike movement would not have grown to such proportions if there had not been friction.” Thunberg was referring to the Fridays for Future youth climate protest movement, which she founded in 2018.
Thunberg is expected to attend a demonstration organized by the Scottish branch of Fridays for Future on Friday. She is also scheduled to speak at a protest the next day. “I think many people are afraid that inviting too many radical young people will make them look bad,” she told Marr, using air quotes to emphasize the word “radical.”
“More representation from the so-called Global South, from the most affected people and areas,” she said, adding that the conference needed “more representation from the so-called Global South, from the most affected people and areas.”
“It’s not fair when, for example, one country sends a large number of delegates while another country is severely underrepresented.” This is already causing an imbalance, and climate justice is at the heart of the crisis.”
The COP26 Coalition, which represents youth strikers, trade unions, faith groups, and others, has described the climate summit as “the most exclusionary in history, with thousands prevented from making their voices heard.” People have been hampered in getting to Glasgow, according to the coalition, citing a lack of access to coronavirus vaccines, travel restrictions, sky-high accommodation costs, and other obstacles.
One American delegate posted on social media about a conversation he had with a property owner who demanded an extra $2,000 after realizing the rental period overlapped with the summit.
The summit is expected to draw 25,000 visitors from nearly 200 countries. According to Downing Street, it was one of the largest events that Britain had ever hosted.
Leaders from more than 100 countries are expected in Glasgow for crunch talks on Monday and Tuesday, but China and Russia are notable absentees. Queen Elizabeth II appeared to be irritated earlier this month by world leaders who refused to commit to the summit.
When asked about the monarch’s remarks, Thunberg said that most people would agree with her.
“Yeah, I think most people would agree,” she said.