Logistical Nightmares Hamper COP26 Negotiations

​Delegates sit in the Action Zone at the COP26 UN Climate Summit.

Delegates sit in the Action Zone as they attend the third day of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow on Nov. 3, 2021. PAUL ELLIS / AFP via Getty Images

A dearth of affordable accommodation in Glasgow is causing logistical nightmares for delegations from developing nations, who are forced to spend time and energy figuring out where to spend the night instead of focusing on negotiations, Insider reports.

“That’s nonsensical for developing countries,” a representative from a South American nation told Insider. “Right now, I’m going around in circles trying to find a place for us to stay tonight — I shouldn’t be doing this, I should be concentrating on the negotiations.”

Another delegate from a Central Asian country said her team has had to travel 25 miles just to get to the conference each morning before waiting in line for hours before entering. The lines are a problem. Even official delegates are being made to wait in lines, forcing them to miss important negotiation meetings.

Concerns over access inequity have loomed over COP26 for months, typified by global COVID-19 vaccine distribution disparities, but the gulf between the approximately 30,000 credentialed people in Glasgow and the 10,000-person limit on those who can enter the conference center is compounding inequities.

Leonardo DiCaprio was reportedly able to get in yesterday, however, while dozens of official delegates were barred from the rollout of the Global Methane Pledge. These compounding and overlapping (literal) barriers have created “an exclusionary, racist, ableist, classist environment,” youth activist Alexandria Villaseñor said. The UN has apologized, but day three sees little change so far.


For a deeper dive:

Business Insider, Climate Home, POLITICO EU, The Guardian; DiCaprio: Bloomberg; Wheelchair inaccessibility: The National, The Guardian, CNN; Commentary: The National, Abbi Garton-Crosbie analysis

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