Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said “it is only right” we listen to the next generation on climate change, as she congratulated a baton relay that arrived in Sharm El-Sheikh after travelling 4,836 miles from Glasgow.
Beginning on September 30, the baton was taken via 16 countries from Cop26 host Glasgow to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt where Cop27 began this week.
Ms Sturgeon, who will be in Egypt until Wednesday, congratulated Running Out Of Time, who organised the relay.
She said: “Climate change is already having a massive impact around the world and if we don’t take the right action, things will only get worse.
“The hugely inspiring efforts of everyone who took part show why youth action is so important. Not only have children and young people played a significant role in keeping climate change at the top of the global agenda, but they will also face the greatest impacts of climate change over their lifetimes.
“It is only right that we listen to the voices of the next generation, and that we hear them when they challenge us to do more to tackle the climate emergency.
“The Glasgow Climate Pact was an important agreement, which included strengthened efforts to build resilience to climate change, curb greenhouse gas emissions and provide the necessary finance for both.
“Countries cannot row back on the commitments made in Glasgow. Cop27 must put a renewed focus on the ongoing delivery of the commitments already made and seek agreement for more meaningful action.”
The arrival of the baton marks the launch of The Extreme Hangout during Cop27, a platform giving young people a place to join the conversation and collaborate on solutions to drive climate action.
It passed through Scotland, Wales, England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt.
Along the way, it has visited hundreds of schools, at-risk locations and climate change projects and has been used to champion local climate action measures with partner Carbon Copy.
Hundreds of volunteers have run, cycled and sailed with the baton, across seas, mountain ranges, glaciers and deserts, and through villages, towns and cities.
Jamie Hay, Running Out Of Time co-founder said: “What an extraordinary journey to Cop27 it has been.
“We said we would do this and today, as we crossed the finish line, we proved it was possible. We have passed this baton mile after mile, day and night, for 40 days.
“Thanks to the incredible collective effort of thousands of people, across 18 countries, we have covered the 7,767km from Glasgow to Sharm El-Sheikh.
“We’ve run, cycled, rowed, sailed, windsurfed and skied our way here. Through thunderstorms, hail, wind, snow, and desert heat, we never gave up.
“We’ve seen first-hand the endless human determination to show up and carry the baton for a cause we all believe in.
“We turned our words into action and I hope this baton, this symbol of hope, will be a reminder to world leaders that they must do the same.”
A message is contained inside the baton, written in English and Arabic and was created by young people and the Foundation For Environmental Education.
It was supported by 800,000 signatures, calling for quality climate education to equip people of all ages and in all places with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to build climate resilient communities.
The Extreme Hangout in Sharm El-Sheikh will feature speakers, panel sessions and film screenings from November 8-11.
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