YOUNG climate activists who are walking a 1200-mile route from Cornwall to COP26 in Glasgow have crossed into Scotland.

The Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) Relay to COP26 began in June, with the activists setting out from Carbis Bay in the far south west of England.

By Friday they had walked in stages over the months to Berwick-upon-Tweed and crossed the border as they headed to Eyemouth in Berwickshire.

They were met by a welcome party including piper Keith Montgomery.

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Working with local churches and religious organisations, they aim to highlight the effects of climate change on the world’s poorest communities.

During their journey, they have visited cities across England, with plans to stop off in Edinburgh before arriving in Glasgow on October 30, the day before the COP26 climate conference begins.

Jen Morris, a member of the YCCN, said: “Many of the world’s poorest countries are facing the double threat of a global pandemic and the ongoing effects of climate change.

“YCCN is calling on the UK to use its pivotal role as the host of COP26, as an opportunity to push for an inclusive, green, and just economic recovery for all countries, not just rich ones.

“The UK Government must put pressure on rich countries to meet and exceed the decade-old promise of 100 billion dollars of climate finance.

“No country should be pushed into debt fighting the effects of climate change, especially the countries who have contributed least to global emissions but are being affected the most by climate change.”

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The young campaigners have been supported on their journey by the Church of Scotland and Christian Aid.

Very Rev Susan Brown, who is the convener of the Church of Scotland’s Faith Impact Forum, said: “On behalf of the Church of Scotland, we are delighted to welcome those taking part in the YCCN’s Relay to the COP26 as they cross the border into Scotland.

“Reports tell us that eight out of 10 young people are seriously concerned about the future of the planet and that for more than half of those, this is leading to sleepless nights.

“As communities and even more so as a Church, we need to take responsibility for the care and wellbeing of the natural world with which we have been entrusted.

“Too many have been guilty of taking it for granted for too long.

“Now is the time to stand and say: this is a gift from God, for all in this world, to be cherished, protected and enjoyed.”

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Fiona Buchanan, campaigns and advocacy coordinator at Christian Aid Scotland, said: “We are so inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of the YCCN volunteers, as this mammoth relay arrives in Scotland and gets closer to Glasgow.”

She added that their journey was “driven by faith, justice and a strong desire to make the COP26 climate summit count for all but especially for our global neighbours who have done the least to contribute to this crisis”.