The COP starts with another eco-quandary
Finally, the COP26 is finally here. Tomorrow, the world’s largest eco-jamboree will start in Glasgow, with some 20,000 to 25,000 delegates expected. For Alok Sharma et al, it must have sometimes felt like the “last chance” to save the Earth was damned by the gods themselves, with strikes, pestilence and vermin that plagued the rat infested city. these last months.
And yesterday there was one final biblical surprise for long-suffering officials: Torrential rains in north-west England and Scotland forced all trains from London to Glasgow to be canceled. This sparked the last eco-quandary for attendees: should they fly there instead?
The ministers were informed against flying in order to set an ecological example, but some of their desperate Whitehall underlings were seriously considering it last night. The Euston-Glasgow route has been horrendous all week, with three train changes instead of the usual direct route and one hour delays each way.
A disgruntled delegate ranted to Mr S: ‘Whether it’s flooded Airbnbs that already cost delegates an average of £ 6,000 for a two-week stay, or overcrowded train services without social distancing that arrive at stations with signs saying “thank you for taking the train to COP26”, the whole thing starts to feel a bit of the comedy of errors. ‘ Another said 24 hours before the trip they were unsure whether they were going to Glasgow or Edinburgh, so much was the confusion around the trip and accommodation.
The organizers of Holyrood and Westminster had more than two years to plan rooms and travel for the event, gaining an additional 12 months in April 2020 after the summit was delayed due to Covid. The lack of beds in Glasgow has seen MSPs Fixed price from their own hotel rooms around the Scottish Parliament, 40 miles away, with a cheeky Greenock resident charging £ 7,000 a week for her apartment in Inverclyde. Steerpike can’t wait to get his hands on the receipts …
Still, the planning could have been worse. The COP will take place at two venues: the Blue Zone of the Scottish Event Campus and the Green Zone of the Glasgow Science Center. But Mr. S hears that the original plan was for the first to be titled “Orange Zone”. It wasn’t until the Glasgow hosts kindly explained why dividing a city with a history of bigotry into ‘orange’ and ‘green’ sections could be problematic that organizers quietly changed their plans.