Singer Annie Lennox adds her voice to calls for ‘real action’ at Cop26 summit

The musician and campaigner spoke out ahead of the talks, which get under way on October 31.

Musician and Glasgow Caledonian University chancellor Annie Lennox had demanded global leaders at Cop26 produce a ‘real plan’ to tackle climate change. (Jane Barlow/PA)

By Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor

Chart-topping singer and political campaigner Annie Lennox has called on world leaders to take the “action needed” to prevent the Earth from suffering the “apocalyptic” impacts of climate change.

The singer songwriter, who fronted the pop group The Eurythmics before enjoying solo success, insisted that “words and targets are not enough” as she demanded politicians take “real action to tackle global warming”.

She spoke out ahead of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, which will bring together leaders together as they seek to keep global temperature rises in check.

Words and targets are not enough. There must be a real plan and real action to tackle global warming, cut fossil fuels and stop banks from funding climate-wrecking industries.

Annie Lennox

Lennox, who is the chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, said that she first became aware of the impact of “man-made pollution and green gas emissions” more than 40 years ago – a time when she said many regarded global warming as an “eccentric notion”.

Now she said that “climate change, or more frankly, climate emergency, is truly the issue that gives me the worst sense of anxiety and dread about the future, not only for our children, but for their children’s children”.

She stated: “Over 40 years ago, I first became aware that man-made pollution and greenhouse gas emissions were causing enormous damage to our planet’s environment and biodiversity. Not forgetting the melting of our ancient Arctic ice caps.

“Four decades ago, many people dismissed this as an eccentric notion or they were simply in denial of the facts.

“Now, while the impact of unfettered industrialisation remains largely unaddressed, this unimaginable problem is accelerating exponentially, threatening the entire balance of nature on our planet, from weather systems and rising temperatures in sea levels, to the sustainability of life itself.”

Glasgow Caledonian University chancellor Annie Lennox speaking to students at the university. (Glasgow Caledonian University/PA)

The singer and campaigner continued: “In 2021, we are seeing the cumulative impact of relentless human exploitation of the planet – something we still don’t seem to be able to admit or face up to.

“We have become disconnected from nature and blind to the destruction that has been taking place for years, right under our noses.

“Our forests, jungles, great coral reefs, oceans, rivers, and all living species and organisms are in existential jeopardy, yet we still carry on as if nothing is happening.

“Over the next two weeks, I will be joining people around the world to demand that political leaders meeting in Glasgow for the United Nation’s Cop26 climate summit must take the action needed to avert this impending apocalyptic scenario.”

Here she demanded: “Words and targets are not enough. There must be a real plan and real action to tackle global warming, cut fossil fuels and stop banks from funding climate-wrecking industries.

“We must provide real protection for our forests and oceans, and ensure there’s sufficient funding from those wealthier nations, who have profited from ecological destruction, to support the countries who are now bearing the dire brunt of it.”

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