COP26 kicks off with big promises from world leaders — but activists aren’t sure they mean it

The highly anticipated U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, launched on Monday with leaders from around the world using their opening remarks to stress their commitment to taking significant steps to combat climate change. However, just outside the Scottish Event Campus, the venue hosting the official delegations, activists and protesters expressed doubt that COP26 will produce meaningful results.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- Welcome to COP. Welcome to Glasgow.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[PROTESTERS CHANTING]

PRINCE CHARLES: You do not need me to tell you that the eyes and hopes of the world are upon you.

- Glenn that means recognizing the historical responsibilities of this crisis. And that those who are most affected are the least responsible.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Those of us who are responsible for much of the deforestation and all the problems we have so far, have an overwhelming obligation to the nations, who in fact, we're not there, have not done it.

GRETA THUNBERG: Inside COP, they are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our future seriously.

PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON: To the anger and the impatience of the world, will be uncontainable unless we make this COP26 in Glasgow the moment when we get real about climate change.

GRETA THUNBERG: We say no more, blah, blah, blah.

PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON: Blah, blah, blah.

GRETA THUNBERG: We're sick and tired of it. And we're going to make the change.

PRIME MINISTER FRANK BAINIMARAMA: All that is missing, ladies and gentlemen, is the courage to act.

- Enough of fossil fuels. Enough of approving any new fossil fuels.

ANTONIO GUTERRES: Enough of burning, and drilling, and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves.

- We hope you realize it is your time to act, and that your empty promises are not as visionary as you think.

URSULA VON DER LEYEN: Net zero by 2050 is good, but it's not enough. We need real action during this decade now.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: There's no more time to hang back, or sit on the fence, or argue amongst ourselves. This is the challenge of our collective lifetimes. The existential threat-- threat to human existence as we know it. And every day we delay, the cost of inaction increases.

PRESIDENT WAVEL RAMKALAWAN: The environment partnership to save our planet must happen here in Glasgow 2021. Let COP26 be the determining point. Let the change be a real one. Let the paradigm shift happen.

- Our eyes are on the COP26. Don't let us down.

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