Climate activists from Surrey have joined thousands of others in Glasgow amid the COP26 climate summit being staged in the city at present.

Roger and John, from Surrey, have both taken part in climate activism in recent years amid the escalating climate crisis.

They said they felt compelled to attend Glasgow while the summit is ongoing to emphasize the strength of public feeling of the climate crisis, and urge the UK government and negotiators around the world to take drastic action to curb carbon emissions and avert climate breakdown.

As Roger, who is self-employed, told the Surrey Comet: "We had to be here so the world knows that we do care and we are critical of the way COP has been handled, and watered down, as the scientists who blocked the bridge recently, showed... that they are not taking notice of the dire warnings... We are heading for catastrophe and have about three or four years to change course according to the data."

His take on the summit so far echoed a number of voices who were roundly critical of a draft agreement released Tuesday (November 10) ahead of the conclusion of the talks at the end of the week.

The draft agreement stipulated signatories to return to the table next year with stronger commitments to reduce carbon emissions than those currently pledged, but lacked any concrete proposals such as annual carbon emission cuts that now seem necessary to achieve the summit's stated aim of limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees celcius.

Regarding what role activists like himself and fellow Surrey man John could have in helping steer world leaders towards more solid action on the crisis, Roger said outreach with the wider community remained crucial.

"We need to talk about what the issues are and get a stronger moral consensus. Although there is a general one about climate being an issue... there is a general lack of understanding by people about the climate crisis... We need to keep having these conversations. Since Extinction Rebellion started there has been a shift in perspective about how big an issue it is and I think that's something we can build on."

Surrey Comet:

John, a Dorking man with an environmental science background, agreed with Roger about the need for activism, particularly during the summit.

"I've known for a long, long time about what is coming if we don't make the changes we need to make. I'm quite cynical about COP but if we're not there on the streets they (COP26 negotiators) would be doing even less," he told the Surrey Comet. "We have to show that we are watching, that we care, and that it's important."

Like Roger, John said that communication and outreach were becoming even more important as the need to pressure governments and non-state actors to make fast carbon emission cuts becomes more acute.

"It's important to connect the data, the '1.5 degrees or the 2.8 degrees' etc. with what that means. We need to make it clear that we are all in a fight for survival here. I listened to indigenous activists who pointed out that they were already dying at 1.1 degrees of warming. We're allowing people to die if we keep going with our society as we have done for the last 50 years. That would mean sacrificing people."

John added: "I think we need to have new vision about what a human being living on planet Earth is. We need to start building communities that do things differently and offer people an alternative. Indigenous people for example live in closer harmony with the environment, that's the kind of thinking we need. Considering the planet as sacred, and not taking more than is needed from the Earth."