Staff and police at Glasgow Airport have experienced one of their busiest weekends of 2021 due to climate change protests outside the main terminals and a special visitor flying in from the US.
On Saturday, activists from Stay Grounded made their voices heard by campaigning at the travel hub in what was seen as a peaceful demonstration.
Campaigners had wanted to alert flyers to the “illusion of green flying”.
The plan was to cause widespread disruption to ten airports and make people stop and realise, with ten airports being part of that plan.
The impacted airports were chosen as Glasgow, London Gatwick, London City, London Luton, Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton, Bristol, Doncaster-Sheffield and Leeds-Bradford.
However, police had worked with the group to make sure disruption was avoided which in the end, it did.
🤷🔊 The sound quality of this video is still higher than the credibility of the aviation industry’s ‘green’ promises. pic.twitter.com/LMOzXoYW23
— Stay Grounded Network (@StayGroundedNet) November 8, 2021
Its website states that “if this happens, we could see aviation fuel consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emissions double”.
“Aviation is also one of the worst examples of climate injustice”.
“Whilst a tiny minority – just 1% of the world population – are responsible for 50% of emissions from commercial aviation, more than 80% of the world’s population have never set foot on an aeroplane”.
“In addition, the worst consequences of the climate crisis are affecting those who have flown the least.”
Although the flight industry has moved to look at other sustainable fuels such as hydrogen and synthetic e-fuels, Ray Stewart from the organisation isn’t convinced:
“We warn that trusting yet-to-be-developed technology to reduce climate-wrecking emissions is an extreme risk we cannot afford to take”.
“Instead, we demand immediate action be taken to prevent aviation growth to cut associated emissions, for us to stand any chance of remaining within 1.5C.”
Never fear, Barack’s here
The following day, former US president, Barak Obama put the airport’s security to the test by jetting in.
His arrival was much anticipated, with fans and media alike awaiting his arrival as soon as he touched down on to Scottish soil, his first visit to Scotland since 2017.
The visit comes less than a week since his former vice-president, and current US President Joe Biden attended the event.
Obama, who was a key player in the Paris climate conference in 2015, then spoke to delegates at COP26 on Monday.
During his hour long talk, the Mr. Obama slammed Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin for not attending the Glasgow conference.
“I have to confess, it was particularly discouraging to see the leaders of two of the world’s largest emitters [of pollution], China and Russia decline to even attend the proceedings”.
“And their national plans so far reflect, what appears to be, a dangerous lack of urgency…a willingness to make the status quo on the part of those governments…and that’s a shame”.
“We need advanced economies like the US and Europe leading on this issue”.
“But you know the facts – we also need China and India leading on this issue”.
“We need Russia leading on this issue just as we need Indonesia, and South Africa and Brazil…we can’t afford anybody on the sidelines.”
He also criticised President Trump for not leading on the issue of climate change for the last four years.
During Barack Obama’s time in Scotland, he will hold a roundtable discussion with a group of young people attending the COP26 summit.
The former US President will discuss the impact young people have on debates surrounding climate change, and how important their voices are.
The last time Obama visited Scotland, he made an anecdotal claim and said:
“I promise you I will be back because, unless it is raining and blustery, I will not feel I have got the full Scottish experience”.
We can all agree that he’s chosen the perfect time for the authentic Scottish experience amid the horrible weather Scotland has been facing recently.