Global day of action to demand climate justice

By Ivana Kottasová and Kara Fox, CNN

Updated 2:01 p.m. ET, November 6, 2021
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10:52 a.m. ET, November 6, 2021

Delegates at COP26 react to US passing infrastructure bill

From CNN's Amy Cassidy

President Joe Biden calls on reporters for questions as he speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Washington.
President Joe Biden calls on reporters for questions as he speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)

The US Congress passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Friday night, which will invest tens of billions of dollars in improving the electric grid and water systems. It also includes funding for a nationwide network of plug-in electric vehicle chargers.

But Congress is still negotiating a larger climate and economic passage, that analyses show would go a long way to help the US achieve President Joe Biden's goal to slash US greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

On Saturday, COP26 delegates reacted to the infrastructure bill's passage.

“I’m really looking forward to what Joe Biden is going to do and I have a lot of hope," said Alexander Reyes-Knoch, a member of the Peruvian delegation. "I think at least more than half of the world has a great hope of how the US will position itself and will be part of this movement.”

Elias Spiekermann, Germany’s Ministry for Environment Delegation, said it will “absolutely” concern him if Biden’s climate and economic bill does not pass through Congress.

Asked if he would support the White House exercising executive powers to help get Biden’s agenda through, Spiekermann continued:

“I mean, that's good for the climate. But then again, I guess it's also difficult to sell this to the American population," Spiekermann said. "Because it's probably difficult to make people understand why you should do it if you have a strong political group against it. So it is a sensitive topic, I guess.”

Samuel Vandermeulan, an environmental studies and political science student from the US who is attending COP26, expressed concern about the politics of climate change in the country.

“This is a good step. But the fact that something as important as climate change is still politically controversial in the US is embarrassing, I think," Vandermeulan said. "And so I'm very happy that as an American, that Biden seems to be taking a stronger stance in the world stage. But ... the rest of the world should be viewing it through a lens of skepticism until more substantive change comes about.”

9:24 a.m. ET, November 6, 2021

From Scotland to Indonesia, protests around the world are calling for climate justice

As the climate summit continues in Glasgow on Saturday, thousands of people are demonstrating across the world, demanding that leaders take action on the climate crisis.

Here's a look at the climate protests unfolding across the globe today:

Demonstrators speak into megaphones during a protest as the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference takes place, in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 6.
Demonstrators speak into megaphones during a protest as the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference takes place, in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 6. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

Members of the climate action group Extinction Rebellion lay in the street during a protest in Brussels, Belgium, November 6.
Members of the climate action group Extinction Rebellion lay in the street during a protest in Brussels, Belgium, November 6. (Julien Warnand/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

A large puppet of a burning Koala is seen used by extinction rebellion protestors as they conducted a mock funeral on November 6, in Melbourne, Australia.
A large puppet of a burning Koala is seen used by extinction rebellion protestors as they conducted a mock funeral on November 6, in Melbourne, Australia. (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Members of the 'climate crisis resistance alliance' hold a protest in Palu, Indonesia, on November 6.
Members of the 'climate crisis resistance alliance' hold a protest in Palu, Indonesia, on November 6. (Adi Pranata/ZUMA Wire)

Environmental activists display portraits of world leaders in front of the Paris city hall on November 6, in France.
Environmental activists display portraits of world leaders in front of the Paris city hall on November 6, in France. (Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA-EFE-Shutterstock)
People participate in a rally during a global day of action on climate change in Seoul, South Korea, on November 6.
People participate in a rally during a global day of action on climate change in Seoul, South Korea, on November 6. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

People participate in a rally during a global day of action on climate change in Manila, Philippines, on November 6.
People participate in a rally during a global day of action on climate change in Manila, Philippines, on November 6. (Maria Tan/AFP/Getty Images)

9:20 a.m. ET, November 6, 2021

"Grannies against global warming": Protesters demand climate action for future generations

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová and Amy Cassidy in Glasgow

Liz and Mike Wignall joined the Glasgow demonstrations from Edinburgh.
Liz and Mike Wignall joined the Glasgow demonstrations from Edinburgh. (Ivana Kottasová/CNN)

Thousands of climate action activists are marching through Glasgow today, demanding stronger action on the climate crisis as COP26 continues.

As the People's March kicks off on a rainy day in Glasgow, here's why some demonstrators say they've taken to the streets.

Alex Sidney, 18, cycled some 214 kilometers (132 miles) from Manchester to Glasgow with the environmental organization, Not 1 More.

“We wanted to show that you can travel in a carbon neutral way. It’s a form of protest," Sidney said.

“I want the leaders to take action. Radical action," Sidney added.

Alex Sidney, 18, rode his bike from Manchester to Glasgow to demonstrate at COP26,
Alex Sidney, 18, rode his bike from Manchester to Glasgow to demonstrate at COP26, Ivana Kottasová/CNN

71-year-old Liz Wignall said that she and her husband, Mike Wignall, had come to Glasgow from Edinburgh to demonstrate in solidarity with younger generations.

"We’re here for our grandchildren and the future generations," said Liz, who was holding a placard that read "Grannies against global warming."

"We’re trying to convince [the leaders] that we want a meaningful action," Mike, 73, said.

"We want them to know that this is not the end," Liz added.

Tommy McClellan, also from Edinburgh, was playing the bagpipe at the start of the demonstration. The 58-year-old father of two said he is “desperately worried about the planet and future generations."

"I have two daughters myself. But it’s not just about humans. Even if humans go extinct, I don’t want us to leave a destroyed planet behind," McClellan said.

Ivana Kottasová/CNN
Ivana Kottasová/CNN

Across the demonstration, protesters are carrying signs calling for climate justice and action. Some read:
"Climate justice now”
“Keep 1.5 alive”
“I haven’t seen a polar bear… but I’d like to”
“It’s now or never…take action”
“People + planet over profit”
“Blah blah blah," (a reference a Greta Thunberg's speech, where she roasted world leaders on climate inaction)
“Every disaster movie starts with someone ignoring a scientist”
9:20 a.m. ET, November 6, 2021

Food scarcity an "existential threat," Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate says

 From CNN's Katharina Krebs

Climate activist Vanessa Nakate speaks at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 6, 2021.
Climate activist Vanessa Nakate speaks at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 6, 2021. (Alastair Grant/AP)

Protesters are gathering the rain at Glasgow, but indoors, the theme today is nature -- and all the solutions it can offer, if humans protect it.

In a session on food and agriculture, Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate said food shortages are already an "existential threat" as a result of climate change.

"The climate crisis is leaving millions of people hungry because there is no food," Nakate said.

Nakate added that although Africa is responsible for only 3% of global emissions, it has been suffering some of the most brutal impacts fueled by the climate crisis, such as hunger and death.

"Climate change has disrupted weather patterns in countries like mine, causing shorter and heavier rainy seasons plus longer dry seasons. Farms are being washed away by heavy rains, destroying crops. Crops are getting burned in intense dry seasons," she said.

The activist stressed the importance of tackling the issues that contribute to climate change. Nakate said that changing to a plant-based diet could lead to a great impact. 

"Of course, not everyone has the ability to make such changes. But most of us do something. And it is those who have the most power, who also have the most responsibility. Our leaders need to start aligning their policies with the science to help us drastically reduce emissions to zero starting now," she said.

Vanessa Nakate has urged world leaders to start diverting from the usage of fossil fuels."Stop investing in fossil fuels, stop digging up and burning fossil fuels and stop forcing fossil fuels back into the ground where we grow the food that sustains us," she said.

7:57 a.m. ET, November 6, 2021

Actor Idris Elba warns of future food shortages from the climate crisis

From CNN's Amy Cassidy in Glasgow

Idris Elba speaks during a session at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 6.
Idris Elba speaks during a session at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 6. (Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

British actor Idris Elba brought some star power to a COP26 panel on food and agriculture, warning lengthy queues at supermarkets sparked by food shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic “is a reality for us in the future” if we don’t tackle climate change. 

Food shortages experienced during the pandemic were due to issues in supply chains , but Elba pointed out that supply chains would be hit hard "if we don't figure out what to do around climate change and what it's doing to our food systems."

Elba, who is the United Nations Ambassador for International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said that IFAD has been "focussing on small scale farmers [who] deliver 80% of the food that we eat," saying that its a fact that consumers don't realize when they go to the supermarket.

"It's not obvious to us. But it is obvious to them [farmers], because every year when they put their crops in, the crops are lower, because the rain is different, the soil is different. And one day we're gonna go to [grocers] Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencers and the food's not going to be there," Elba said.
8:01 a.m. ET, November 6, 2021

US passes $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Here's what it means for the climate crisis.

By Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby, CNN

While people around the world are protesting for faster climate action, the US Congress passed a major infrastructure bill that has some key climate provisions in them.

The $1.2 trillion bill passed after months of internal deliberations and painstaking divisions among Democrats, and is a major victory for US President Joe Biden's domestic agenda and key climate provisions.

Once Biden signs the bill into law, it will deliver $550 billion of new federal investments in America's infrastructure over five years, and there's plenty on energy and climate.

Here's a look at what the bill covers:

Electric vehicles

The bill will provide $7.5 billion for zero- and low-emission buses and ferries, aiming to deliver thousands of electric school buses to districts across the country, according to the White House.

Another $7.5 billion will go to building a nationwide network of plug-in electric vehiclechargers, according to the bill text.

Improving power and water systems

The bill will invest $65 billion to rebuild the electric grid, according to the White House. It calls for building thousands of miles of new power lines and expanding renewable energy, the White House said.

It will provide $55 billion to upgrade water infrastructure, according to the bill text. It will replace lead service lines and pipes so that communities have access to clean drinking water, the White House said.

Another $50 billion will go toward making the system more resilient -- protecting it from drought, floods and cyberattacks, the White House said.

Environmental remediation

The bill will provide $21 billion to clean up Superfund (some of the nation's most dangerous toxic waste sites) and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells, according to the White House.

Full story here:

8:03 a.m. ET, November 6, 2021

Forty-five countries commit to sustainable farming at COP26

From CNN's Amy Cassidy in Glasgow

Forty-five countries have pledged to shift to more sustainable ways of farming in a strive to protect nature, in a UK-led commitment launched at COP26 on Saturday. 

Saturday is Nature Day at the UN Climate Conference, concentrating on urgently reforming the way we grow and consume food. This is critical in tackling global warming, with around 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions coming from forestry, agriculture and land-use. 

Every six seconds, forests equivalent in size to one football pitch are lost to the destructive production of soya, palm oil, cocoa and beef, Jane Goodall, an acclaimed anthropologist and primatologist, said during a video played at a COP26 event on Saturday.

These governments promise to implement new policies and fund further research in creating more sustainable farming methods, leveraging “over US$4bn billion of new public sector investment into agricultural innovation, including the development of climate resilient crops and regenerative solutions to improve soil health,” according to a UK government press release.

Indonesia and the UK also jointly launched the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue on Saturday, comprising 28 countries, to engage with farmers to support the livelihoods of 1.6 million people globally -- particularly in developing countries -- which depend on the production and consumption of agricultural commodities.

Joseph Itongwa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Indigenous Peoples’ Network for the Sustainable Management of Forests and Ecosystems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said: “I understand through this dialogue that businesses need to produce, they need to produce, we need to make food. This generates jobs.” 

Speaking at Saturday's COP26 event, he continued: “But this cannot impede on indigenous peoples rights and lives, you need forests, you need the ecological forests functions. So these ecological functions need to be preserved.”

7:29 a.m. ET, November 6, 2021

Glasgow's striking cleaners join climate protests

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová in Glasgow

If you've seen pictures of Glasgow's streets covered in litter, it's because hundreds of municipal workers, including trash collectors and cleaners, are on strike this week over a long-term pay dispute.

On Friday, they joined the climate protests and are expected to show up for the demonstrations in the Scottish capital again today.

The striking workers have been invited to join the protests by climate activist Greta Thunberg and have received significant support from crowds of protesters.

7:17 a.m. ET, November 6, 2021

Skeletal koalas and passionate pleas: Activists across the world join a "Global Day of Action"

From CNN's Kara Fox

People participate in a rally during a global day of action on climate change in Sydney, Australia, on November 6.
People participate in a rally during a global day of action on climate change in Sydney, Australia, on November 6. (Steven Saphore/AFP/Getty Images)

Climate activists around the world are taking part in a series of global protests on Saturday, calling for real action from global leaders on the climate emergency.

The "Global Day of Action" seeks to unite climate activists and groups around a common goal: To demand that governments and corporations "deliver real and just solutions" to the climate crisis and to limit global temperatures to 1.5°C, organizers said.

Demonstrations have already kicked off in Australia where more than 1,000 protesters took to the streets in the Australian capital in protest against the government’s climate policies and their COP26 offerings, Reuters reported.

In Sydney, demonstrators marched with signs that read: "We need human change, not climate change" and "Code Red for Humanity.”

Extinction Rebellion activists in Melbourne held a “koala funeral” to mark the day, marching with a gigantic puppet of a skeletal koala and banners that read “Shame.”

Australia's delegation went to the COP26 talks in Glasgow with the weakest climate plans of all the G20's developed nations.

In South Korea, hundreds of people gathered in the capital, Seoul, where demonstrators marched with a large red inflatable ball to symbolize a "burning earth," Reuters reported.'

Climate activist and protest leader Hwang In-chul told Reuters that leaders at COP26 hadn't taken strong enough steps to mitigate the crisis and that action plans were lacklustre.

"They [COP] have had meetings from all around the world every year for 26 years, but the climate crisis has not been resolved yet. Since the climate crisis cannot be stopped with the way it is, citizens around the world are coming out to take actions for our lives, safety and future."

South Korean President Moon Jae-in reconfirmed a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 at COP26 this week. South Korea however, remains one of the world's most fossil-fuel reliant economies, with coal making up over 41% of the country's electricity mix and renewable power just over 6%, according to Reuters.

In the UK, climate activists are preparing for another day of protests after Friday's mass demonstrations in Glasgow, where climate activist Greta Thunberg called the COP26 summit a "failure" during a large youth protest outside the climate summit's venue.

Climate activists in Brighton, southern England were gearing up for a demonstration in the city center on Saturday, with protesters from Extinction Rebellion pushing a large float appearing to be a red oil tanker reading "Act Now," through its streets on Saturday morning.

Extinction Rebellion activists push an "Act Now" float through the streets of Brighton on Saturday morning.
Extinction Rebellion activists push an "Act Now" float through the streets of Brighton on Saturday morning. Felix Robbins Wilkinson/CNN