Hundreds of people march through UN climate conference in first big protest at COP27

Sanaa Seif, center, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, attends a protest with others at COP27.
Sanaa Seif, center, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, attends a protest with others at COP27.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Peter Dejong   -  
By Rosie Frost  & Lottie Limb

Hundreds of people have joined a march inside the COP27 climate summit in Egypt. 

Today at the conference centre in Sharm El Sheikh, the first large-scale protest took place inside the Blue Zone - an area usually reserved for official proceedings and not accessible to all activists. 

Organisers say that it was held inside the conference as Egyptian authorities would not allow it on the streets. 

At midday on the long road between two of the venue's buildings, people gathered to take part in the march.

The large group of protesters chanted slogans like "no climate justice without human rights" with activists saying that the UN climate summit is now "lost and damaged". 

Placards in the crowd included messages such as "Don't gas Africa" and "Pay your climate debt". 

The rising theme of this global day of action from campaigners was "we will never be defeated" on human rights and the call for climate justice. 

AP Photo/Peter Dejong
A sign reading "human rights 4 all" is displayed during a demonstration at COP27.AP Photo/Peter Dejong

The march was led by Sanaa Seif, sister of imprisoned British-Egyptian water striker Alaa Abdel-Fattah

"Those in power thought my voice would be drowned out," she told the crowd, adding that there "can be no climate justice without human rights." 

It was also fronted by other activists including Filipino climate justice activist Mitzi Jonelle Tan - who highlighted the murder and imprisonment of environmental land protectors - as well as civil society and religious leaders. 

Loss and damage - a recurring theme at the UN climate conference - was also a big topic of the speeches delivered at the march. 

AP Photo/Peter Dejong
Demonstrators participate in a protest at COP27.AP Photo/Peter Dejong

"The governments who have caused the climate crisis and made those who are least responsible for this crisis pay for it through their lives, their livelihoods, their homes and cultures - they owe us these reparations and they need to pay up now," Tasneem Essop, executive director of Climate Action Network, told the crowds. 

It is the biggest action to take place at the climate conference so far with protests limited in Sharm El Sheikh. 

Protests also took place elsewhere in cities including London, Edinburgh and Paris in support of the march at COP27.

In Lisbon, Portugal hundreds of people took to the streets. Dozens stormed a building where the country's Economy Minister Antonio Costa e Silva was speaking demanding that the former oil executive resign.