Nov 5, 2021 10:34 AM EST

Friday is youth day at COP26. They fear they’re not being heard

Climate Protest Takes Place In London During COP26

Supporters of the United Kingdom Student Climate Network (UKSCN) march through Westminster during a climate protest as the UK hosts COP26, on Nov. 05, 2021 in London, England. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — The generation of young people who will inherit a warmer future is telling the generation that caused carbon pollution to clean up its mess — from both inside and outside United Nations climate talks.

There are more young people than ever roaming the halls at the talks. That’s in addition to the thousands of mostly young protesters carrying signs outside at a Fridays For Future rally some blocks from the fenced-off pavilion. Young people are being seen and celebrated in Glasgow. But they fear they’re not being heard.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and numerous other leaders have credited youth activism for reinvigorating the world’s fight to curb climate change. The UN’s theme Friday, in fact, was youth involvement, with leaders talking about how important young people are in the battle to keep the world from getting too hot and wild from extreme weather.

But even on a day dedicated to young people, the midday highlights were a speech by 73-year-old former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and a news conference by 77-year-old John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy.