COP26: Daily briefing from UN summit on climate change for Monday, November 8

The Scotsman takes a wry look events as they unfold at COP26

We do love a good old fashioned queue

With problems surrounding queueing, online access, and Covid-19 protocols, the UNFCCC, the agency responsible for overseeing COP26, has not exactly had its problems to seek.

But the agency was dealt another headache yesterday after falling victim to a prank by the Yes Men, the activist group which rails against overbearing corporate influence.

How big was the queue? Barack Obama was a major draw at COP26.
 (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
How big was the queue? Barack Obama was a major draw at COP26. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

It set up a fake firm known as Yasava, billed as “the world’s leading designer of bespoke couture interiors for private jets.” In other words, hardly the most climate friendly enterprise.

To their surprise, their application to have the company included in two official COP26 initiatives - the Race to Zero campaign and the Science-Based Targets initiative - was rubber stamped.

You’ve got unintended mail

Spare a thought for flustered UN officials who had to try their best to uphold the diplomatic reputation of their employer in the face of adversity.

Some volunteers are trying to flog their uniforms online, but not Donald Onaiwu, Leigh Baxter, Bob Alston and Kirstin McEwan model the Cop26 volunteer uniforms (Jane Barlow/PA) / PA Wire
Some volunteers are trying to flog their uniforms online, but not Donald Onaiwu, Leigh Baxter, Bob Alston and Kirstin McEwan model the Cop26 volunteer uniforms (Jane Barlow/PA) / PA Wire

The reason? Barack Obama was in town yesterday, and multiple observer organisations had received emails inviting them to attempt the keynote event.

When a large queue formed outside the UNFCCC’s offices, there was disappointing news. The emails had been sent in error, and there were only around 20 spaces. A bit of a squeeze given the number of registered observers stands at around 1,500 strong.

Strength in uniformity

Word on the mean streets of Glasgow is that some of those who volunteered to give up their own time and with little reward other than a ‘thank you’ from the organisers have been flogging their special one-off uniforms on the internet.

Green credentials: Glenfiddich's fleet of trucks run on biogas made from distillery leftovers.
Green credentials: Glenfiddich's fleet of trucks run on biogas made from distillery leftovers.

Branded jackets, polo shirts, backpacks, face masks and bobble hats produced by Lion Safety in Falkirk for the summit have been listed by sellers in Clydebank and Edinburgh.

More than 10,000 people applied for the unpaid helper roles and unfortunately some of those selected for participation have failed to turn up on the day.

Spare a thought for those indigenous tribespeople who travelled many thousands of miles to highlight the threats they face from climate change.

Some have seen forests clear-felled, soil washed away during monsoons, freak floods, habitat loss for wildlife and encroachment on their tribal lands by greedy businesses with the tacit approval of corrupt officials at local and national level.

Haunted? The Hamish Allan Centre in Glasgow.
Haunted? The Hamish Allan Centre in Glasgow.

A dram fine idea

Glenfiddich has created a limited-edition 26-year-old Scotch – in partnership with Stop Climate Chaos Scotland – to commemorate COP26.Individuals will have the opportunity to bid on one of 100 bottles via a charity auction (from Nov 22 – 29) through Royal Mile Whiskies, with proceeds going to Stop Climate Chaos Scotland to further its mission in tackling climate change.

Ghoulish encounters

They were invited to COP26 to present their case on the understanding that accommodation would be organised.

And when none materialised they bedded down in Glasgow, in Autumn, on the city’s streets.

Now a charitable group has stepped in and prepared some rough and ready rooms for them at a former homeless emergency night shelter, from which they are likely to be evicted by Glasgow City Council.

But in the meantime they may have to endure the occasional encounter with a ghostly spirit which is said to have wandered the corridors of the Hamish Allan Centre in the city’s Tradeston for decades.

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