Extinction Rebellion to conduct ceremony of grief for COP26

On Saturday at 11am, Extinction Rebellion will conduct a funeral ceremony at the Glasgow Necropolis, to symbolise the failure of the COP process.

Starting from Glasgow Cathedral, the Red Rebels will lead a procession dressed in black shrouds across Church Lane Bridge, known locally as “the Bridge of Sighs”. The performers will lie down next to rows of individual headstones. Red Rebels will walk between the headstones and perform grief poses. The Blue Rebels, a Scottish group similar to Red Rebels, will escort “COP26”, who will lie down to complete the pattern. A piper will play laments, including ‘Flowers of the Forest’.

COP26 is the culmination of a failed process. The first COP meeting was in 1995. Since then, there have been 25 meetings. After nearly 40 years of warnings and 30 years of international climate negotiations, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have increased by over 50% since 1990. [1]

COP26 is yet another mark of failure. Climate Action Tracker (CAT), the world’s most respected climate analysis coalition, released estimates based on short-term goals countries have set out at COP26. It concludes that global temperature rises will top 2.4C, with catastrophic consequences, with even the most optimistic scenario passing the Paris agreement’s 1.5C goal. [2]

Karen, an XR member from the Isle of Barra, said, “We are here grieving for a planet that has been sacrificed by the failure and stupidity of COP26. The bare minimum needed from COP26 were commitments to leaving oil in the ground and an immediate halt to fossil fuel funding. Anything less than that is idiocy. As intelligent life on this planet we are already extinct. We know exactly what we need to do and we’re not doing it.”

Cathy Allen from XR Oxford said: “At just over 1 degree of warming many communities are already being displaced by floods, drought and loss of land. To continue deliberately heating up the planet for pointless profit will soon displace hundreds of millions. This is no accident – it is a heinous and barbarous crime against humanity. We are especially in mourning for the Global South and those on the frontline communities who will suffer the most but have done the least to cause this crisis. COP26 has failed them. It has failed all of us.”

This follows a day of action in Glasgow that saw a topless activist arrested for protesting at JP Morgan, a group spray-painting “Blood Money” on Barclays bank, two activists pouring red paint and fake blood over themselves at the entrance to the COP26 Blue Zone, and an activist arrested for attempting to “jump the fence” and enter the Blue Zone compound.


[1] Global emissions trends: 1990 to 2019 https://www.iea.org/articles/global-co2-emissions-in-2019

[2] Cop26: world on track for disastrous heating of more than 2.4C, says key report https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/09/cop26-sets-course-for-disastrous-heating-of-more-than-24c-says-key-report