COP out?

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Whose bright idea was it to offer to host (actually co-host with the Italians) COP 26 in the UK?  I suppose we were currying favour with the UN and all those NGOs who insist on being in on the detailed negotiations at these events.  This could well end in tears and it looks like it started as a vanity project by the last government to show how green 'n' keen the UK is – and to showcase our great progress, some of which is illusory.  "We need to lead by example", the current PM is reputed to have said.

And who chose Glasgow?  I suppose this is providing evidence that Scotland is still in the UK.  Those who claim to be in the know say that, given the low life expectancy and even lower school standards in bits of Glasgow, there could hardly be a more apt venue for demonstrating that change is needed.

Personally I think the money could have been spend more wisely to greater effect on practical climate-related matters but maybe I just lack vision and moral conviction.  We are now, as they say, stuck with it, and we all need to hope that we now do a very good job.  Here's the Guardian's report on the ruinous end to COP25 which warns of the pitfalls ahead.

And this is what EAUC had to say about the latest COP26 moves:

"... Andrea Leadsom was shuffled out of her post as BEIS minister, and Alok Sharma was shuffled in, and it was announced he would also serve as COP26 president.  The former DFID minister has a good record for voting on topics such as equal gay rights and the smoking ban, and while he has generally voted in line with the party on environmental topics (mostly against them), he has been praised for his work in DFID on promoting action on Climate Change in developing countries.  You can see more on his voting record here.  His position as COP26 president was unexpected, with Michael Gove or Zach Goldsmith being widely tipped as the most likely candidates after David Cameron and William Hague declined the position.  Some are disappointed that a more well-known minister has not been appointed to the post which needs to quickly bring unity and strategic planning to COP26 now for it to be a success, but anecdotally Alok is thought of as a well-liked and amenable person, so hopefully this will work in his favour for COP26."

Indeed.  Those qualities will be useful in what seems an über-difficult job.

I drafted all this before the security of the COVID-19 outbreak became apparent.  Now that this is clear, there must be some doubt about whether COP26 will go ahead as the last thing Glasgow can afford is a huge mass of people from all over the world in close contact with each other for over a week.  Yikes!

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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