GLASGOW — After a week of non-stop pledges and announcements, national delegates on Friday will cede the stage at the U.N. climate conference.
Recognizing the impact that campaigners have had on raising public awareness of climate change, world leaders have praised the influence of youth activists like Vanessa Nakate of Uganda and Greta Thunberg of Sweden in the run-up to COP26.
The two are expected to join others in a protest by the Fridays for Future movement, not far from where activists have towed a giant iceberg from Greenland to Glasgow’s River Clyde.
The day also will feature presentations, panels and exhibitions by civic groups showcasing how they are helping vulnerable populations around the world.
With the looming question of whether the Paris Agreement goal of holding global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius was still possible, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and UK COP26 President Alok Sharma will sit with civil society leaders to discuss progress so far and what still needs to be done.
IEA chief Fatih Birol surprised many on Thursday by saying pledges made so far during COP26 – if all implemented – could potentially hold warming to 1.8 C. The comment irked U.N. and other negotiators, who emphasized that the policies pledged by governments still put the world on track for 2.7 C of warming.
More protests by climate activists are planned for Saturday, when the Scottish city will shutter commercial areas. Back at the conference center, talks will focus on nature.
Delegates take a break on Sunday, when the conference will pause before resuming on Monday for its second and final week.
—Reporting by Katy Daigle; Editing by Alexander Smith