Written by lower sixth student Ebonie Hudspith.
On November 6, I was one of Notre Dame’s students who made a trip to Glasgow to support climate justice at COP26.
COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and is an annual UN climate change conference. COP26 ran from October 31 to November 12 2021, and aimed to bring nations together to discuss this extremely important topic, and solve environmental problems. Almost 40,000 people registered for the event: 22,000 delegates, 14,000 observers and 4,000 journalists, representing over 200 countries, businesses, NGOs, faith groups and more. COP26 was one of our last chances to fight the climate crisis faced by all countries big and small.
Notre Dame’s trip to COP26 was led by our Lay Chaplain Andrew Sullivan and Head of Biology Sue Lowe, who were joined by me and my fellow students Karma Gad and Sinit Araia. We arrived in Glasgow in time to join 100,000 others at a Global Day of Action march. We met a range of people, including representatives of Climate Justice for Africa, and Human Rights Watch. There were flags raised high and a variety of unique signs and chants. Being part of the crowd was exhilarating.
We marched from George Square to Glasgow Green, where a stage had been set up to host many speakers and musical acts. Vanessa Nakate, a popular speaker on social media, talked in detail about a school in Uganda she had provided with sources of renewable energy. We also loved a speech given by indigenous people who talked about their experiences battling the crisis and the injustices they’ve faced. We also saw some familiar faces; Black Lives Matter Leeds gave a speech about the link between racial injustice and climate justice.
It was beautiful to see the unity expressed on that day, the fact that so many people gathered to discuss and protect one thing we all deeply care about, the environment. I believe we all left enriched, not only by the education we had received, but the care for the global community we had experienced.