Climate protesters are to target Glasgow Airport today as part of widespread disruption across the UK.
Activist group ‘Stay Grounded’ are holding action across ten airports as they warn that “no-one should be fooled by attempts to ‘greenwash’ aviation”.
The protests come as tens of thousands of people are expected at a march in Glasgow today, where the COP26 UN climate change conference is taking place.
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Ray Stewart from Stay Grounded UK said: “We warn that trusting yet-to-be-developed technology to reduce climate damaging emissions is extremely risky.
“Instead we demand that immediate action is taken to prevent any expansion of flying and associated emissions growth.
“Just one return flight from London to New York emits as much greenhouse gas as the average UK household does in a whole year.”
The impacted airports are Glasgow, London Gatwick, London City, London Luton, Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton, Bristol, Doncaster-Sheffield and Leeds-Bradford.
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Mira Kapfinger from Stay Grounded added: “Maybe, one day, we’ll be able to fly in large, long-haul, zero-emission aircraft but we know that’s not an option in the foreseeable future.“In a climate emergency the only thing we can do right now to cut emissions from flying is to fly less”.
Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said officers have engaged with key campaign groups to ensure the protests can take place safety but will quickly crack down on any problems if need be.
Mr Ritchie said police have worked closely with organisers of the youth march and are “very encouraged” by the high level of engagement to help deliver a safe event.
He said: “This will be a family event focusing on young people and the future of our planet. We are really looking forward to our continued engagement with organisers to make sure young people get their opportunity to be heard in what is an amazing event with the eyes of the world on us all.
“On Friday and Saturday you will see an increased police presence in Glasgow but please don’t be worried.
“Officers are there to maintain the safety of the public and participants, as well as to protect the rights of people who wish to peacefully protest or to counter-protest.”
Police liaison officers, wearing light blue vests, will be deployed over the weekend and will act as a link between event organisers and the police.
Other specialist officers will be deployed for the events along with officers from other police services from around the UK.
Mr Ritchie said: “We have engaged with key campaign groups to ensure these protests can take place safety and with as little disruption as possible.
“However, we have made clear that, should violent disorder or damage to property occur, those involved will be dealt with swiftly and robustly.
“If you’re going to a march, please act responsibly, be respectful in your actions, and follow the route and instructions given to you by event organisers or police officers.”
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