Interviews with those at the COP26 march

‘It is really important to have youth voices included in the climate conference’


The COP26 march attracted thousands with many travelling from all corners of the globe.  Once the march was over, The Tab Glasgow caught up with those who had gathered at George Square.

Max, an Astronomy student from Vienna, was the first person we spoke to. He had travelled thirty hours by train from Vienna to Glasgow. He argued that the “negotiations are going way too slow, we need action now.”

We then spoke to Matthew, a Computer Science student from Sunderland. We asked what brought him to Glasgow. His response was, “The fact that what is coming is so destructive, anything I can do to try and stop that, even if I don’t succeed, I will do. So I am willing to get arrested, go to prison, I’m willing to do anything to stop the future.

“Sitting in prison will be a horrible experience but it’s not going to be as bad as what’s going to happen to this entire planet. Right and we will be the lucky ones, even though we’ll have all our coastlines flooded, we’ll have hardships, winters, warmer summers.

“But if you look at what’s going on in Africa and in other countries what we’re doing here is affecting them in such a worse way. Because we can’t see it, I feel like they need a voice to be heard and because they can’t come down here, I thought if there’s not going to be anyone else.”

The Tab Glasgow then spoke to Marina, an  intern medical student at the University of Glasgow. She said, “The climate crisis is also a health crisis so it will affect every single body system from mental health to their cardiovascular health… But equally the NHS has a really substantial carbon footprint and still is quite unsustainable. So really just arguing for the health case and showing to medical schools that this is important to us.”

Meghan, a  Biomedical Science student at the University of Strathclyde, attended the march with her samba youth street band. She said, “We were playing some music and giving some vibes to welcome the protestors to George Square… We’re all youths and we think it is really important to have youth voices included in the climate conference because it is us that is going to live through the decisions that are made.”

Our next interviewee was Liv, an English Literature and Art History student. She said, “I’m here today to show my support to the cause. It is also great to see so many young people here… The majority of the crowd are actually young people which is great to see as well.”

We next spoke to a Biology student from the University of Bristol. He said, “As a young person I feel frustrated about the future. You read the news, you read the science and you realise how bad the situation is. You realise as well that we still have more chance and COP26 in my opinion is one of our last shots. So I came here to do my best and contribute as much as I can.” He also mentioned how great it felt for him to be selected to represent Spain at COY16 – the pre-COP youth version.

Our final interviewee was Carlin, a Media Communication student at Glasgow Caledonian University. She said, “I want to be part of the movement as it is important for everyone’s future. And also to show the world leaders that what they are doing is not enough and they have to step up.”

The Tab Glasgow loved hearing from such a diverse range of voices at the climate march. Hearing from such a range of young people, clearly very passionate about the environment, gives us all hope for the future.

Dr Nick Watts, incoming NHS Chief Sustainability Officer, said: “The evidence that the climate emergency is a health emergency is overwhelming, with health professionals already needing to manage its symptoms.

“We know that 98 per cent of NHS staff believe the health system should be more environmentally sustainable, and even during the busiest period in NHS history, the insight, enthusiasm and commitment from those on the frontline for us to plan for the future has been exceptional.

“The NHS’s ambition is world-leading, and the first national commitment to deliver a net zero health service.”

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