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7 Dundee groups protesting during COP26

COP26 Coalition Tayside organiser Andy Llanwarne.
COP26 Coalition Tayside organiser Andy Llanwarne.

The climate movement in Tayside and Fife brings parents of private school pupils together with eco-activists and lifelong trade unionists.

Not since 200,000 demonstrators made a human chain around Edinburgh to highlight global poverty in 2005 have so many been engaged in protest and action.

The diverse COP26 Tayside coalition will march from Magdalen Green to City Square in Dundee on Friday November 5 from noon to 1pm.

The demo comes ahead of the COP26 main day of demonstration in Glasgow on November 6.

But who are the local groups involved in climate action closer to home? And what do they want to see from the world climate conference?

Extinction Rebellion (XR)

The Dundee wing of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement have become one of the best-known groups of direct-action environmental campaigners in recent years.

Last month, the group provoked both admiration and scratched heads with a “quiet, green and peaceful protest” in the city’s Slessor Gardens.

XR logo in Slessor Gardens.

A member of the group planted its logo in clover seed on the lawn.

Its members say XR was born out of “love and rage”. Love for the planet and rage at governments for climate failures.

Its members use “peaceful civil disobedience to force governments to act.”

They want governments to “tell the truth” about climate change, deliver more action and give decision-making powers to citizens assemblies.

Friends of the Earth Tayside

Friends of the Earth has long been one of Scotland’s most active environmental charities. Their members have been particularly visible in Tayside and Fife.

They are known for collaborative action on air pollution in Dundee and Perth. The group has also championed pension divestment from fossil fuel companies.

COP26 banners at Dundee waterfront.
COP26 banners at Dundee waterfront.

They are using the COP26 platform to ask the UK government to cancel the Cambo oilfield development.

Its members are also strong proponents of climate justice, demanding poor countries get more help to deal with extreme weather.

Dundee Trades Union Council (DTUC)

Trade union members march to highlight the links between social and climate justice in Dundee for COP26.

While Insulate Britain’s illegal tactics dominate headlines down south, the DTUC highlights the importance of domestic heating in the climate change fight.

They want to see an additional £250 million committed locally over the next 10 years to retrofit the city’s homes and improve energy efficiency.

They believe that will also deliver a generation of our youth getting apprenticeships and employment in the construction, electrical and heating trades.

Sustainable Kirriemuir

Residents of the Angus town have been developing projects with environmentalism at their heart for years.

Its members have been working closely with local primary schools in the run up to COP26.

They have produced a short film featuring primary school pupils from Northmuir and Southmuir demonstrating in their playgrounds for a more sustainable future.

People Learning about Nature in Tayport (Plant)

This group has been bringing people together to grow food and flowers, learn about nature, and reduce carbon emissions in Tayport, since 2011.

Plant also runs climate awareness sessions. These focus on positive actions that people can take.

Its members recognise many can feel overwhelmed by the crisis and concerned about the impact on future generations.

So they help people in north Fife make constructive changes.

Dundee High School Climate Change and Sustainability Forum

This group of parents, pupils and staff from Dundee High School are deeply concerned about climate change and sustainability issues.

Dundee High School.

They support the school’s ambition to ‘foster and encourage pupils to find their voice and empower them to take responsibility with confidence and resilience’.

The group said the COP26 in Glasgow brings the urgency of the climate crisis closer to home.

Perth & Kinross Climate Cafes

The Climate Café movement started in Perthshire in 2015 as a way of bringing people together to talk about how they could raise awareness of climate change and take action to reduce its effects.

There are now nine cafes in Scotland and some in other countries.

Its members want COP26 to commit all 120 signed up countries to enshrine in law radical changes to cut emissions.

The COP26 Tayside coalition also includes Bonnie Dundee, Dundee Climate Action Network, Dundee Naturalists Society, Eco-Dundee, Friends of the Miley, Friends of Riverside Nature Park, Gate Church Carbon Saving Project, St Paul’s Cathedral Eco Group University of Dundee Botanic Garden, West End Community Council and Dundee People’s Assembly.