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Melissa Jiménez Gómez-Tagle: Climate Scientist-Activist-Journalist

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Photos Courtesy Melissa Jimenez Gomez-Tagle

At the UN COP 26 “Action Hub,” Melissa Jimenez Gomez-Tagle displayed a yellow-and-black banner reading “WITHOUT ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE, THERE IS NO SOCIAL JUSTICE,” on Friday 5 November, in solidarity with the FFF outdoors protest in Glasgow that day, which was led by Greta Thunberg. “Ms. Mel” placed the XR protest banner on the carpet in front of a UN sign, but it was soon removed.

By Alfred Robert Hogan

Melissa “Mel” Jimenez Gomez-Tagle has learned to ably wear three hats—those of climate scientist, climate activist, and climate journalist. And the Fridays For Future and Extinction Rebellion supporter wore all three during this autumn’s UN COP 26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

More than two decades ago, then-8-year-old “Mel” began advocating for the imperiled vaquita marina porpoises, endemic to Mexico’s Gulf of California. She had been alerted by a Greenpeace spot aired on television. On her home computer, the precocious activist designed “Save Vaquita Marina” mini-photo-banners, running out of ink from printing so many copies. She then posted them on the hall walls of her elementary school in Mexico. But the photo-banners were soon taken down—and a school official called her parents, who were both physicians. They were issued a warning notice. “Your kid is putting propaganda on the school walls,” they were curtly admonished.

On Friday 5 November 2021, at the UN COP 26 “Action Hub” in Glasgow, the 29-year-old climate and planetary health scientist neatly unfurled and placed a black-on-yellow Extinction Rebellion protest banner on the carpet in front of an official sign. But the powers-that-be soon likewise removed it—and cordoned off the location to discourage any further such activity. “As soon as people started taking pictures, the police kicked me out, and put up cords to avoid people being there. It was just hilarious!,” she recalled, after returning from Glasgow by train back to graduate school Germany.

Photo courtesy

Links to two of Mel’s “Global Voices” programs (

Photo courtesy Green TV (US)

Betsy Rosenberg interviews climate scientist Mel and her fellow activist Luciana Verastegui.

In Glasgow, Mel had also found her role as a climate journalist for activist-oriented to be “very fun” and a “challenging experience,” she said. “We were everywhere, inside and outside. COP is not just about what happens inside four walls wi