While the first 5 days of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Summit (COP26) are behind, a group of activists quietly entered the doors of the University of Strathclyde Students’ Union in Glasgow on Monday.
Let alone the accreditation restriction at COP26, the intense security measures taken for world leaders and the moving minutes, it would not be wrong to say that this activist group has done a great job in drawing attention to climate change.
This group of 6 people called “Walk2COP26” walked the 820 km distance between London and Glasgow for 26 days.
The activists arrived in Glasgow on 1 October, not riding in any emission-emitting vehicle throughout the journey.
Sam Baker, the leader of Walk2COP26, was recently working as a strategy consultant for DeLoitte company.
Baker, who says that he has wasted his life by working 14-16 hours a day for years, says that he wanted to do something for the world and the environment by resigning, and that’s how the idea of walking to Glasgow came about:
“This was an important opportunity to step aside and listen, and my friends and I aim to raise people’s awareness of the climate.”
“We tried to raise awareness of everyone along the way, we visited schools”
Volunteer activists who were keen on the idea of walking to Glasgow suddenly turned into a team of 6 with Sam Baker’s encouragement. Having set a route for themselves, the group established a national network of hiking trails and called it Slow Ways.
Struggling with sudden rain, wind and sometimes even storms during the journey, Walk2COP26 volunteers walked for 26 days in order to reach COP26 on time and make their voices heard.
Of course, the group, who had the opportunity to tell many things about climate change and the fight against global warming to the people they met during the walk, also visited some schools along the way.
Sam Baker, the leader of the group, said, “The visit to the schools was the best part of our journey. The children had the opportunity to ask us questions about climate change. That was the most important thing for us, I think.” says and adds:
“Leaving the lights on isn’t the end of the world. The important thing is not to stay silent and try to learn about climate change. That’s what we wanted to change.”
Walk2COP26 activists hosted climate-related town hall meetings, visited companies developing sustainable-economic projects, and tried to raise awareness about climate change through a virtual walk.
“We wanted to disseminate and share the steps to be taken regarding the climate and the climate emergency. COP26 can fail or change many things. And we shared that with other people.”