Guest blog: Highlights of UK COP26 Logistics Briefing delivered on 4 June 2021
Guest Blog by Yunus Arikan ICLEI, LGMA Focal Point (local government)
As of 5 June 2021 13:00 CEST, there is no publicly available links for the presentation or recording, but updates may be available here.
1- No information on capacity of Blue Zone, with breakdown for Parties and observers, layout and costs of pavilion and office spaces are available – these are expected to be made available in the coming weeks.
2- Special COP26 Visas are available only for Blue Zone delegations and visa applications have to be submitted to the UK embassies starting from beginning of August 2021 - no information is available to facilitate visa applications for Green Zone events
3- Current UK COVID-19 measures asks for a minimum 2 weeks of quarantine upon arrival for most international participants (be it a Party delegate or observer) – this means visa applications have to be adjusted accordingly as well.
4- COP26 is scheduled to have a Heads of State session on 1-2 November and a High Level Ministerial Session in the second week. No specific arrangement is announced for access of observers during the Heads of State or High Level Segment, nor any official announcements is available regarding day-to-day planning of COP26, which significantly influences the days and durations of many non-negotiator participants.
5- UNFCCC is expected to announce calls for side events by early July, it is not clear how long will it take to conclude the selection process. It is also not clear what specific COVID-19 measures will apply for side event and meeting rooms, which influences number of speakers and participants.
6- The special accommodation company applies a reservation procedure which does not enable refund upon cancellation, (requires booking for full 2 weeks of COP26) – if quarantine conditions are taken into account, an additional 14 nights of accommodation has to be added –it is not clear whether UNFCCC DSA will cover these additional 14 nights for delegations funded by the UNFCCC.
7- There is no information whether UK COP26 Presidency and UNFCCC Secretariat are in a position to offer special vaccinations for participants of COP26, or whether observers will enjoy such benefits and if yes what will be the basis of selection and it is also not clear which countries will accept such offers.
8- There is no clear date on when the next Climate - COP25 Bureau meeting will be held.
9- 3 weeks before Climate-COP26, Biodiversity-COP15 is scheduled in Kunming, China. As of June 2021, neither the CBD Secretariat nor China as the host have provided any briefing regarding logistics of COP15 in Kunming. There are rumors that an in-person COP15 may be limited to only those who are living in China which means CBD Parties may be represented by their Embassies in China.
10- The LGMA SB2021 Opening Statement “strongly encourages COP25 Bureau and UK COP26 Presidency to provide a clear and comprehensive guidance on the in-person and virtual elements before the end of this May-June sessions, in order to ensure an inclusive and safe COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.”