Barack Obama gave a rallying call to young people to continue to lead the fight against climate change and to push the older generation into action.

At a speech to the COP26 in Glasgow, at the SEC, the former President of the United States of America said there had been progress since the Paris Agreement in 2015 but that it was nowhere near enough.

He said: “When it comes to climate, time really is running out.”

READ MOREBarack Obama makes appearance at COP 26 in Glasgow

Obama railed against Donald Trump, for halting progress and lamented the opposition to taking greater action from the Republican Party in the United States and any other parties in other countries that were a barrier.

He admitted it seems to be a bigger problem in his own country.

Obama said some progress “stalled when my predecessor pulled out of the Paris agreement. I wasn’t real happy about that.”

Glasgow Times:

And he criticised those major powers who were not fully represented at the Glasgow COP.

READ MORE: My week at COP26 in Glasgow and how I got dinghied by Leonardo Di Caprio

He said: “We need the advanced economies like the US and Europe leading this. We also need China, Russia, India, Brazil leading. We can’t afford to have anyone on the sidelines.”

Obama added: “The world has to step up and it has to step up now.”

Young people, he said had more of a stake in the fight than others but he argued they need to listen to the concerns of those not yet convinced if there is to be successful action on climate change.

He said the most important energy in this movement has come from young people. The reason is simple, they have more of a stake in this fight than anyone else.”

He praised Greta Thunberg who was in Glasgow last week but he said “the world is full of ‘Gretas’ taking up the baton on climate chanGlasgow Times: ge.


He added: “If the older folks won’t listen, they need to get out of the way.”

He added: “Folks of my generation have not done enough on a potentially cataclysmic problem that stand to inherit.”

To young people frustrated and angry about climate change he offered advice he said his mother gave to him.

Obama said My mother’s advice was ‘don’t sulk, get busy’

He said: “get to work and change what needs to be changed.”

He said young people can make a difference by voting for governments who will take action, by making consumer choices and spending with businesses that are taking action and by persuading older people to change their lifestyle.

The former president questioned the tactics of some protesters who disrupt people going about their business.

Glasgow Times:

He said: Protests are necessary, hashtag campaigns can raise awareness to build the broad base we need to persuade those who currently don’t agree or who are ambivalent.

However, he added that confrontation is not the best way.

Obama said: “We have to do a lot more listening; we can’t just yell at them or inconvenience them with blocking traffic.”

Instead, he argued that campaigners had to understand the concerns which he said were understandable.

He said: “It is not unreasonable for people to think the costs will be born by them and not the privileged.”

His message to young people was “stay angry and frustrated but channel that anger, harness that frustration and keep pushing for more.”

Glasgow Times:

In his opening remarks Obama said that he didn’t need to attend these events any more as a former President but he added: when the issue is the health of our planet and what our children and grand- children inherit you’ll have a hard time keeping me away.”

He ended by saying it would take time adding: “I’m ready for the long haul if you are and so, let’s get to work.”