Greta Thunberg gets a rockstar’s reception as she lands in Glasgow and is surrounded by police guard

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Greta Thunberg has arrived in Glasgow ahead of the Cop26 summit, as world leaders prepare to discuss the climate crisis in the coming weeks.

The Swedish activist arrived at Glasgow Central station on Saturday evening, having taken a train from London, Euston, ahead of the international conference that begins formally on Sunday, with a summit of 120 dignitaries and heads of state starting the following day.

After leaving the train, Ms Thunberg was surrounded by police and other activists as she made her way around the station. She travelled to Scotland after she took part in a demonstration outside a bank in London on Friday. 

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There, she was also mobbed by other climate change activists at the protest outside the Standard Chartered headquarters, as they lobbied against the global financial system supporting the use of fossil fuels. 

Other climate activists from around Europe also arrived at the station on a specially chartered ‘climate train’ on Saturday evening. They were greeted with chanting and banners from groups assembled in the station.  

Greta Thunberg has arrived in Glasgow ahead of the Cop26 summit, as world leaders prepare to discuss the climate crisis

Greta Thunberg has arrived in Glasgow ahead of the Cop26 summit, as world leaders prepare to discuss the climate crisis

The Swedish activist arrived at Glasgow Central station on Saturday evening, having taken a train from London Euston

The Swedish activist arrived at Glasgow Central station on Saturday evening, having taken a train from London Euston

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Other climate activists from around Europe also arrived at the station on a specially chartered "climate train" on Saturday evening

Other climate activists from around Europe also arrived at the station on a specially chartered ‘climate train’ on Saturday evening

Ms Thunberg is expected to take part in other demonstrations during the two-week summit in Glasgow. 

There will be a march through the city on November 5, organised by Fridays for Future Scotland – the Scottish branch of the movement inspired by her activism.

She is also expected to speak at a rally taking place on Saturday hosted by the Cop26 Coalition.

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However, Ms Thunberg has said her formal participation in the summit itself is uncertain.

In a preview for his BBC One show on Sunday, Andrew Marr asked Ms Thunberg if she had been invited to Cop26, and she responded: ‘I don’t know. It’s very unclear. Not officially. ‘I think that many people might be scared that if they invite too many radical young people, then that might make them look bad.’ 

Pilgrimage groups have marched through Glasgow as protests ramp up ahead of Cop26.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is mobbed by a crowd as she walks after arriving at Glasgow Central Station ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain October 30, 2021

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is mobbed by a crowd as she walks after arriving at Glasgow Central Station ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain October 30, 2021

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg walks after arriving at Glasgow Central Station ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain October 30, 2021

Climate activist Greta Thunberg walks after arriving at Glasgow Central Station ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain October 30, 2021

Greta Thunberg at Euston Station in London ahead of boarding a train to Glasgow where the Cop26 summit is taking place from Monday. Picture date: Saturday October 30, 2021

Greta Thunberg at Euston Station in London ahead of boarding a train to Glasgow where the Cop26 summit is taking place from Monday. Picture date: Saturday October 30, 2021

Thousands of activists have gathered in Scotland’s largest city this weekend to make their climate change concerns known to the world leaders who will be around the negotiating table.

Some protesters started making their voices heard around noon on Saturday, including members of Ocean Rebellion who led a ‘dead merpeoples’ demonstration, with activists lying still entangled in netting and litter near the Clyde in Glasgow to raise awareness of marine life loss.

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Members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) Faith, artists and other pilgrimage groups who have walked thousands of miles to Glasgow joined each other in a procession through the city centre on Saturday.

The event was said to be an ‘opening ceremony’ to a series of non-violent direct actions being planned in Glasgow, around the UK and the world during the United Nations climate change convention.

The procession started at 2pm at the McLennan Arch on Glasgow Green, where XR Scotland’s ‘Blue Rebels’ formed a guard of honour for the pilgrims.

Those arriving in the city included Marcha Glasgow, a group of Spanish activists who took a ferry from Bilbao to Portsmouth to embark on a 30-day hike to Glasgow.

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Camino to Cop26 members have walked from London and Bristol to Glasgow in just under two months.

Young Christian Climate Network activists arrived in the city on Saturday after walking 1,200 miles from Cornwall.

Ocean Rebellion activists stage a protest against bottom trawling fishing near the Scottish Event Centre (SEC) in Glasgow

Ocean Rebellion activists stage a protest against bottom trawling fishing near the Scottish Event Centre (SEC) in Glasgow

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators take part in climate change protest in Glasgow, Scotland ahead of the start of COP26, Saturday

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators take part in climate change protest in Glasgow, Scotland ahead of the start of COP26, Saturday

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Environmental activists stage a protest ahead of the Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, 30 October 2021

Environmental activists stage a protest ahead of the Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, 30 October 2021

Ecumenical Pilgrimage for Climate Justice arrived in Glasgow from Poland, Sweden and Germany – and Pilgrimage for Cop26 has walked from Dunbar to Glasgow.

Glasgow-based artists Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich paraded with the Serpent of Capitalism, a 30-metre sculptural artwork alongside the pilgrimage groups.

Alex Cochrane, of XR Glasgow, said: ‘Cop26 must end a growing crime against humanity by wealthy governments where the global south are sacrificed to bear the brunt of the global north’s affluent, carbon-intensive lifestyles.

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‘We welcome the pilgrims of faith – and no faith – who are walking to Cop26 to demand governments also walk the walk for the global south.’

Yaz Ashmawi, of XR Pilgrim, said: ‘Countries around the world are already suffering the consequences of our historic emissions in the west, and small island states like the Maldives will be submerged by rising seas if no immediate action is taken on the climate.

‘As people of faith we have a spiritual duty of care to those who are less fortunate than us, so we have been using this walk to raise money for activists in financially disadvantaged countries that are already impacted, to empower them to join this conversation themselves.’

Activists march during a "Pilgrims Procession", an opening ceremony to a series of non-violent direct actions being organised by the Extinction Rebellion

Activists march during a ‘Pilgrims Procession’, an opening ceremony to a series of non-violent direct actions being organised by the Extinction Rebellion

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Activists march during a "Pilgrims Procession", an opening ceremony to a series of non-violent direct actions being organised by the Extinction Rebellion

Activists march during a ‘Pilgrims Procession’, an opening ceremony to a series of non-violent direct actions being organised by the Extinction Rebellion

The marches come the day before world leaders are to meet in Glasgow for the crucial climate conference where countries are under pressure to discuss and increase their ambition to tackle the climate crisis.

Up to 30,000 people will descend on Scotland’s largest city over a two-week period.

On Friday, Ocean Rebellion activists poured ‘oil’ in front of Glasgow’s Cop26 venue in protest ahead of the event.

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Another four XR protesters locked themselves to the Memorial Gates at the University of Glasgow using bike locks to demand that the establishment adopt the Green New Deal – a climate strategy developed by students and staff at the university.

Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, Scotland’s most senior police officer, said his force will respond ‘swiftly and robustly’ to protesters who try to disrupt the summit.

He said the force – together with 7,000 officers from other parts of the UK who have been deployed to Scotland to help police Cop26 – was ‘ready for the challenges that lie ahead’.

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