The ongoing COP26 climate summit at Glasgow is a failure and has turned into a “global greenwashing festival”, activist Greta Thunberg said at a rally in the Scottish city on Friday, AFP reported.

The summit began on October 31 and will go on till November 12. Representatives from nearly 200 countries are engaged in negotiations on how to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees to 2 degrees Celsius as compared to pre-industrial levels.

Thunberg on Friday joined thousands of people, including striking school students, for a march through Glasgow. She later addressed a rally at the city’s George Square.

“Our leaders are not leading,” the Swedish climate activist said. “This [gesturing towards the crowd] is what leadership looks like.”

Thunberg said that world leaders “cannot ignore the scientific consensus and they cannot ignore us”.

“Many are asking what it’ll take for people in power to wake up,” the activist said. “But let’s be clear - they’re already awake. They know exactly what they’re doing. They know exactly what priceless values they’re sacrificing to maintain business as usual.”

Thunberg said that “immediate and drastic” cuts to emission are needed, the BBC reported. She, however, accused world leaders of creating loopholes to benefit themselves.

“We know that our emperors are naked,” she added.

Activists from other countries also delivered speeches at the rally. Vanessa Nakate from Uganda said that although Africa is only responsible for 3% of global emissions, the continent has suffered some of the worst impacts of the climate crisis, according to the BBC.

“But while the global south is on the frontlines of the climate crisis, they’re not on the front pages of the world’s newspapers,” she added.

COP26 summit

The COP or Conference of Parties summits are yearly meetings held within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The summit in Glasgow is the 26th such meeting.

On November 3, the United Kingdom government said that “the end of coal is in sight” as 190 countries and organisations committed to phase out their use of the fossil fuel from the next decade.

Bigger economies have committed to quit the fuel by 2030s, while smaller countries will do so by 2040s. However, Australia, China, India and the United States – which heavily depend on coal – were missing from the deal.

On November 1, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the country will attain net zero carbon emissions by 2070. This is two decades later than the target set by the climate change conference, according to the BBC.

This was the first time that India announced the target of net zero emissions. India is the world’s third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the United States, making its goals crucial in the fight against climate change.