Cop26: Police seize the 'Loch Ness Debt Monster' before it can be launched 

Jubilee Debt Campaign had planned to launch the inflatable on the water to highlight that there is 'no climate justice without debt justice', which it said meant cancelling lower income countries' debt
Cop26: Police seize the 'Loch Ness Debt Monster' before it can be launched 

Police officers guarding the inflatable Loch Ness Debt Monster at Govan Dry Dock after it was seized in a dawn raid during the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. Picture: Jess Hurd/PA Wire

Police "seized" an inflatable Loch Ness monster that anti-poverty campaigners had hoped to float on the River Clyde in Glasgow as finance ministers met at Cop26.

Jubilee Debt Campaign had planned to launch the inflatable on the water to highlight that there is "no climate justice without debt justice", which it said meant cancelling lower income countries' debt and providing climate finance without creating new debt.

However, the group said police arrived at Govan Graving Docks in Glasgow at about 7am and prevented them from moving it.

The inflatable Nessie, dubbed the Loch Ness Debt Monster, is about 4m tall, 8m long and 3m wide, and the group said it represented the growing threat of climate debt burdens for lower income countries.

Eva Watkinson, of Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: "The debt crisis facing lower income countries has been excluded from debate at Cop26 and now police have prevented the 'Loch Ness Debt Monster' from highlighting this fundamental issue.

"Lower income countries' unsustainable debt is preventing them from fighting the climate crisis. And when climate disasters hit, countries are pushed into further debt to pay for reconstruction.

Rich polluting countries created the climate crisis and should take responsibility by cancelling the debts of countries that need it and ensuring climate finance is given in grants, not more loans."

Pictures taken by the group show police officers surrounding the monster, while campaigners held signs saying "drop the debt monster" and "climate justice now".

According to recent figures from Jubilee Debt Campaign, lower income countries are spending more than five times more on external debt payments than projects to protect people from the impacts of climate change.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Officers seized a large inflatable due to be launched on the River Clyde as it breached the maritime restrictions in place to maintain public safety and security close to the Cop26 venue."

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