Running Out of Time relay crosses finish at COP27

“Action not words” is the message from young people as the world’s longest relay Running Out of Time crossed the finish line at COP27 Sharm El-Sheikh and delivered a climate message to world leaders early on the morning of 8 November.

The Running Out of Time relay is the longest non-stop relay ever attempted.  It started at Sunnyside Primary School in Glasgow, as part of our live Climate Lesson during Scotland's Climate Week while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon watched on via a live link at St Alberts Primary School.   Today, as the relay team crossed the finish line in Egypt, the First Minister was there to greet it!

Over the past 40 days (30 September to 8 November) thousands of runners, cyclists and sailors have worked together to pass a relay baton through 18 countries from COP26 host city Glasgow, Scotland to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in the name of climate action and in support of principal partners Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and Carbon Copy.  A number of schools and community groups, including Sunnyside Primary School, Grow73, Brighter Bothwell, St Andrew's & St Brides High School, Wallace Hall Academy and Applegarth Primary School provided baton handover points in Scotland before the baton, designed and made in Scotland, passed through hundreds of hands to get to Egypt. 

Baton carriers included Olympians, young people, Head of State President Borut Pahor - who ran with the baton and also joined the baton welcome ceremony at UNESCO Pavilion COP27 on 8 Nov - mayors, government ministers, city councillors, NGOs, community groups, ambassadors, activists, students, business leaders, friends and families. 

Inside the #RunningOutOfTime baton is a message written in English and Arabic by young people and signed by over 800,000 people, to the decision makers at COP27 calling for quality climate education to equip people of all ages and in all places with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to build sustainable, climate resilient communities. 

Meeting the relay team at the finish line is Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, “I want to congratulate all the participants in this world-first relay and welcome the baton as it completes its journey across 18 countries, from Glasgow to Egypt. Their message is clear: climate change is already having a massive impact around the world and if we don’t take the right action, things will only get worse.

“The hugely inspiring efforts of everyone who took part show why youth action is so important. Not only have children and young people played a significant role in keeping climate change at the top of the global agenda, but they will also face the greatest impacts of climate change over their lifetimes. It is only right that we listen to the voices of the next generation, and that we hear them when they challenge us to do more to tackle the climate emergency.

 “The Glasgow Climate Pact was an important agreement, which included strengthened efforts to build resilience to climate change, curb greenhouse gas emissions and provide the necessary finance for both. 

“Countries cannot row back on the commitments made in Glasgow. COP27 must put a renewed focus on the ongoing delivery of the commitments already made and seek agreement for more meaningful action.

The iconic relay baton was created by award-winning Glasgow-based designers 4c Design. It utilises 18 seemingly fragile parts representing the nations the baton passes through that are stronger together where the exchange of the baton happens. The iconic spiral rings represent the four essential layers of climate action where impact can be made: international, national, local and individual.

Jamie Hay Running Out of Time Co-FounderWhat an extraordinary journey to COP27 it has been! We said we would do this and today, as we crossed the finish line, we proved it was possible. We have passed this baton mile after mile, day and night, for 40 days. Thanks to the incredible collective effort of thousands of people, across 18 countries, we have covered the 7,767km from Glasgow to Sharm El-Sheikh. 

We've run, cycled, rowed, sailed, windsurfed and skied our way here. Through thunderstorms, hail, wind, snow, and desert heat. We never gave up. We kept moving forward. We kept working together. We've seen first-hand the endless human determination to show up and carry the baton for a cause we all believe in. We turned our words into action and I hope this baton, this symbol of hope, will be a reminder to world leaders that they must do the same.”

The baton has travelled non-stop through Scotland, Wales, England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt. During a ‘virtual’ Global Stage on Nov 5th hundreds of people from over 60 countries took part in solidarity around the world. 

See the highlights celebrated here: https://running-out-of-time.com/journey 

08 November 2022


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