XR Youth join in Europe-wide digital action to say ‘get the polluters out of COP26!’
- Today XR Youth joined with young people across Europe to demand that fossil fuel industry representatives are not included in the COP26 negotiations currently scheduled to take place in Glasgow this November
- The action, which is organised as part of the Polluters Out campaign, will target communication channels of key polluting industries as well as those involved in organising the conference with a ‘cyberstorm’
- The day of action includes a series of climate justice webinars intended to be fully accessible to all those who are in isolation as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic
Extinction Rebellion Youth (XR Youth) join with Polluters Out to demand that representatives of fossil fuel industries are not included in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) due to take place in Glasgow this November.
Together young people across Europe will create a ‘cyberstorm’ – a digital form of direct action which will target major polluters, key european figures associated with the Paris Agreement, as well as the UNFCCC. The young people will bombard their modes of communication by constantly calling their business lines, emailing them, twitter storming with #pollutersout, and posting on their facebook pages. The intention is to disrupt these companies’ business for a day, and possibly longer, in order to send the message that they are not welcome at COP26 in Glasgow this year.
The action is being taken as part of the Polluters Out campaign – a global coalition of young people, in over 60 countries, united with scientists to challenge the fossil fuel industry’s control of our land and our futures. Groups taking part in the campaign include the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN), XR Youth and various Fridays For Future (FFF) groups across Europe. Actions are confirmed in Austria, the UK and Ireland, and expected in Germany and Sweden amongst others.
The coalition of young people taking action believe that fossil fuel companies should not be able to partake in climate policy making discussions as they have a vested interest in maintaining the use of the carbon emitting products they create.
The action takes place amid speculation that COP26 will be delayed due to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on diplomatic processes usually undertaken in the run up to the conference. 
In addition to the digital action Polluters Out will be organising a series of webinars through the day covering topics like climate inequality, as well as platforming stories from frontline communities on the impacts of the climate crisis in different regions of the world. As many people around the world are currently quarantined, it is hoped that this can be an accessible and informative space that will empower people to take part in the fight for climate action.
COVID-19 and the digital action
While the spread of COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the global community in the past few weeks and is prohibiting mass gatherings, the climate crisis continues. The fight for climate justice should not be ignored or forgotten – every crisis should be treated as a crisis. For this reason, we have had to reconsider the format and way in which our advocacy will continue to take place. So, on March 20, Polluters Out’s International Day of Action and mass mobilisation is moving online.
Isabel Fallahi, one of the young people taking part in the day of digital action, said: “Shell being allowed into COP talks is not a climate solution, it’s the climate destruction and ecological breakdown that we are here to fight.”
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Youth, said: “We are not going to pause our activism just because we can’t gather in the streets. We must adapt and find new forms of resistance.”
A spokesperson for UKSCN, said: “Coronavirus has been crippling to many of the foundations of our society, and pandemics like it will only be more disruptive as climate and ecological breakdown worsens, due to displacement and reduced resources.”
Notes to editors
Travel clampdown threatens Glasgow climate summit: https://www.ft.com/content/7a0b637e-6862-11ea-800d-da70cff6e4d3
About XR Youth
XR Youth is a network for everyone born after 1990 – we are a generation that has never known a stable climate and that will be defined by how the world responds to the climate and ecological crisis.
Growing fast, we work to bring as many young people into Extinction Rebellion as possible to make sure our voice is heard and is truly representative.
XR Youth is about connection, learning and youth voice – we develop youth focused resources, providing mentoring and learning opportunities; working alongside other great youth campaigns and connecting young people to help amplify our voices!
About Polluters Out
Polluters Out is a global coalition of young people, in over 60 countries, united with scientists to challenge the fossil fuel industry’s control of our land and our futures.
We believe that fossil fuel companies should not be able to partake in climate policy making discussions as they have a huge vested interest in maintaining the use of the carbon emitting products they create. Polluters Out are currently focused on kicking polluters out of COP26.
Polluters Out’s international demands:
- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change rejects fossil fuel money for the Conference of the Parties and in addition revokes the ability of fossil fuel corporations, executives, and lobbyists to take part in negotiations, panels, and critical discussions
- Indigenous Rights and Human Rights are added into Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
- Increased transparency in all climate related policies and decisions.
Polluters Out’s regional demands can be found here.
About Extinction Rebellion
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
- In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out.
- Start a group where you are: in the UK or around the world.
- Find your local group.
- Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites.
- And while your time and energy are of most importance, if you are financially able to donate money, see our crowdfunder.
About Rising Up!
Extinction Rebellion emerged from the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.
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