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Police in Scotland were forced to seize the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ from protesters who were planning on using the creature in a demonstration during finance day at COP26.
The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is currently underway in Glasgow, Scotland, with world leaders from across the globe gathering with businesses, citizens and government representatives to discuss plans to tackle climate change.
Today, November 3, marks finance day at the event, during which leaders will discuss the role money will play in achieving net zero carbon emissions, so anti-poverty group Jubilee Debt Campaign planned to use the opportunity to protest the growing threat of climate debt burdens for lower income countries.
The protest was set to feature the Loch Ness Monster in the form of a four-metre-tall, eight-metre-long inflatable, however Glasgow police put a stop to the group’s plans by confiscating the air-filled creature.
Eva Watkinson, head of campaigns at Jubilee Debt Campaign, implied the inflatable was key to the group’s demonstrations as she commented, ‘The debt crisis facing lower income countries has been excluded from debate at COP26 and now police have prevented the ‘Loch Ness Debt Monster’ from highlighting this fundamental issue.’
According to The Scotsman, she continued:
Lower income countries’ unsustainable debt is preventing them from fighting the climate crisis. And when climate disasters hit, countries are pushed into further debt to pay for reconstruction.
Rich polluting countries created the climate crisis and should take responsibility by cancelling the debts of countries that need it and ensuring climate finance is given in grants, not more loans.
See footage of police seizing Nessie below:
Responding to the situation on Twitter, Tess Woolfenden, who is in charge of Policy and Research at the group, wrote, ‘We came this morning to inflate the Loch Ness Debt monster & raise the importance of global South #debt for the #ClimateCrisis. Instead the police inbounded Nessie & tried to block our message, just like debt is being blocked from #COP26 discussions!’
A statement from Police Scotland said the Loch Ness Monster was ‘due to be launched on the River Clyde’, and that it had to be seized as it ‘breached the maritime restrictions in place to maintain public safety and security close to the COP26 venue’.
Jubilee Debt Campaign is calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to encourage ‘rich, polluting governments’ to give climate finance as grants, cancel the debt of countries that need it and set up a fund for climate disasters.
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