Activists got creative outside the World Leaders Summit at COP26 yesterday. Donning red boiler suits and black masks, protestors held a demonstration inspired by the now world-famous South Korean TV show “Squid Game.”
Their message was for leaders to stop playing climate games. “The climate crisis is the defining issue of our lifetime, and the solutions that come out of COP26 have the imperative to change history,” said Fatima Ibrahim, co-founder of Green New Deal Rising. “This is no joke and our leaders need to take it seriously. We want to see them make a strong commitment to climate justice — today.” And, of course, to keep those commitments long after COP26 ends and everybody’s gone back home.
Some of the activists wore giant cardboard heads depicting the faces of world leaders inside the summit. They chanted about climate justice while playing hopscotch and tossing giant dice whose sides said things like “Act on Paris” and “end coal.” Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau, Jair Bolsonaro, Emmanuel Macron, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping were among the leaders depicted.
“There is no more serious challenge than the climate crisis, so it’s absurd that world leaders so often look like they’re playing games with the future of our planet,” said Chris Venables, head of politics for the Green Alliance. “Without bold and urgent action to rapidly limit polluting greenhouse gases, we’ll career into climate catastrophe. In Glasgow, there’s a chance to turn that around, to put the world on a path to a cleaner, greener future — but it needs to start today, now.”
“Squid Game” is a Netflix show about 456 people who participate in children’s games. If they win, their debts will be paid off. If they lose, they die. The show highlights human greed, economic struggles and the class divide in South Korea.
Images via Dougie Graham, Simone Rudolphi and Joao Daniel Pereira