Cop26 sponsors ‘complain of mismanaged climate summit’

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Some of the world’s biggest companies have pooled in huge amounts of sponsorship money for the upcoming Cop26 climate summit, complaining of a chaotic lead to the Glasgow event reportedly overshadowed by “inexperienced” officials and plagued by delays.

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“Disappointment” has been raised by organizers about the apparent “inertia” in the weeks and months ahead of the major environmental summit, at which countries are expected to sign off on ambitious new climate goals.

Among the reported concerns were that “very inexperienced” civil servants were being tasked with organizing the conference, leading to delays, poor communication, and a rift in relations between officials and sponsors.

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According to Guardian, broadcaster Sky – which is a “principal partner” for the climate summit – sent a letter co-signed by other sponsors to Cop26 organizers raising these concerns. An earlier note detailing their complaints was also sent over the summer.

Other sponsors include Unilever, Microsoft, NatWest, Sainsbury’s and GSK. It was not clear who among them had put their names in the complaint letters.

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An anonymous source told Guardian It was “obvious” that those in charge had “little experience managing relationships in the private sector, or even attending a police event”.

Concerns were also expressed about delays in the Green Zone, a series of events open to the public for 12 days in early November, and that “everything takes the very last minute” in preparation for the summit.

Other sources complained to the paper of “inertia”, “shifting target positions” and a “top-down approach to the public sector”.

It is also said that sponsors were frustrated by not always being available to participate in promotional events leading up to the summit, which were reported to be part of sponsorship deals.

Members of the public cross the Clyde Arch Road Bridge by the Scottish Events Center which will host the Cop26 UN Climate Summit

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Members of the public cross the Clyde Arch Road Bridge by the Scottish Events Center which will host the Cop26 UN Climate Summit

The build-up to next month’s Cop26 was already facing setbacks, with many world leaders casting doubts on whether they would participate.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is said to be unlikely to visit Scotland, and the Russian ambassador to Britain said on Sunday that no decision had yet been taken about President Putin’s stay there.

A public health expert has also raised fears that Cop26 will lead to a new wave of coronavirus infections in Scotland.

30,000 people are expected to fly to Glasgow for the summit in November and workers are expected to stay in the homes of people living in and around the city.

There was an increase in Covid-19 cases in Cornwall in June, although the government denied that the G7 meeting was responsible.

Professor Linda Bould, chair of public health at the University of Edinburgh, said mass events such as climate conferences are still “risky” despite declining rates of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, an “alternative Cop26” is planned for Glasgow alongside the main event, which will call for “radical and rapid change”, and will welcome attendees including former Labor leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Granthshala Contacted the Cabinet Office and Cop26 for comment.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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