Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

COP26 protest

Demonstrators dressed as international heads of state and government in a "COP26 Hot Air Band" protest world leaders' climate inaction during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021. (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

'Shame on You!': Climate Activists Confront World Leaders at Lavish COP26 Dinner

"We're going down an utterly absurd route of deciding as a species to kill ourselves. We have to step up and say, 'No, that's completely absurd; let's choose a route that saves ourselves.'"

Brett Wilkins

Chanting "shame on you," activists rallied amid a heavy police presence Monday evening outside a swanky reception for world leaders and others attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland to protest their inadequate response to the planetary emergency.

Members of Britain's royal family and corporate executives joined heads of state and other leaders at the exclusive dinner event, which was hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

"How dare these world leaders have a fancy dinner on the first night of COP26, as if they have something to be proud of," said Cat Scothorne of the group Glasgow Calls Out Polluters, according to STV News.

"The continued support of the fossil fuel industry by the heads of state, particularly in the Global North, is killing millions of people," Scothorne added. "The consequences of climate change are faced by people not in power, but those mainly in the Global South and people on sites where extraction occurs, yet the perpetrators sit in luxury, insulated from it all."

One protester told Capital Scotland News he was there "to raise awareness of the need for urgent action on the climate and ecological emergency, mostly because with our political processes, we're left with almost no other routes to make a difference."

"We're going down an utterly absurd route of deciding as a species to kill ourselves," he added. "We have to step up and say, 'No, that's completely absurd; let's choose a route that saves ourselves.'"

Another demonstrator told the outlet she was protesting to hold decision-makers accountable.

"We're working towards global justice, climate justice," she said, "not just making decisions that only benefit a few people, but rather to make decisions that benefit everyone."

The demonstration came at the end of the second day of the global summit and amid demands from Indigenous leaders, youth climate campaigners, and others for a little less conversation and a lot more action to address the growing climate crisis.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Sanders: Manchin and Sinema 'Sabotaged' Biden Agenda Because They Lack 'Guts'

"Why don't you have the guts to take on the drug companies and the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry?" the Vermont senator asked.

Jake Johnson ·


'Still on Track to Win This Primary,' Says John Fetterman After Stroke

"The good news is I’m feeling much better," said Pennsylvania's progressive Lt. Governor, frontrunner in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. "I'm well on my way to a full recovery."

Jon Queally ·


Buffalo Gunman's Racism Directly Tied to Mainstreaming of White Nationalism, Say Critics

"This hateful, white nationalist rhetoric is not just being spread by lone gunmen. It can also be found on cable news and in the rhetoric of politicians today."

Jon Queally ·


'It's a Fight They'll Get': Defenders of Abortion Rights March Nationwide

One speaker at the Ban Off Our Bodies rally in the nation's capital said that Saturday was just "day one of a 'Summer of Rage' where we will be ungovernable. Ungovernable!"

Jon Queally ·


'A Horror Movie': 10 People Murdered During Mass Shooting by White Supremacist in Buffalo

The alleged shooter, taken into custody by police, streamed the murders online where he also posted what has been described as a racist manuscript.

Jon Queally ·

Common Dreams Logo