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World’s longest relay crosses the finish line at COP27 delivering a climate message to world leaders

Runner's World UK logo Runner's World UK 09/11/2022 Jenny Bozon
Runners, cyclists and sailors have carried a baton 7,767km from Glasgow to Egypt to deliver a powerful message on climate change to decision-makers at COP27. © Running Out of Time Runners, cyclists and sailors have carried a baton 7,767km from Glasgow to Egypt to deliver a powerful message on climate change to decision-makers at COP27.

The longest non-stop relay ever attempted – a 7,767km journey from Glasgow, Scotland to Egypt – has reached the finish line in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Beginning in the COP26 host city on September 30, thousands of runners, cyclists and sailors have spent the past 40 days working together to pass a relay baton through 18 countries, to reach the COP27 host city on November 8.

The mission of the ‘Running Out of Time’ relay was clear: to call 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.

The baton contained this message, written in English and Arabic by young people and signed by over 800,000 people, addressing the decision-makers at COP27.

The finish line of the relay marks the launch of The Extreme Hangout at COP27, a grassroots initiative giving young people a voice to drive climate action. Held over four days from November 8 to 11 at COP27 from a tented pavilion on the beachfront overlooking the Red Sea, the hangout will host live debates and discussion from key opinion leaders, youth climate activists, politicians, Prime Ministers and environmental commentators.

Baton carriers have included Olympians, young people, Head of State President Borut Pahor, mayors, government ministers, city councillors, NGOs, community groups, ambassadors, activists, students, business leaders, friends and families.

Carrying the baton, participants have crossed seas, mountain ranges, glaciers, deserts, villages, towns and capital cities as part of this epic journey, travelling 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.

Along the way, those taking part have visited hundreds of schools, at-risk locations and climate change projects, and championed local climate action.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who met the team at the finish line, 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.'

For more information, visit running-out-of-time.com

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