Update by Yunus Arikan on the Glasgow Climate Summit

Guest Blog by Yunus Arikan Director of Global Advocacy ● ICLEI World Secretariat Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 2500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 125+ countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. Our Members and team of experts work together through peer exchange, partnerships and capacity building to create systemic change for urban sustainability.

COP26 Updates by Yunus Arikan as Guest at Felix Dodds Blog

29 July - http://blog.felixdodds.net/2021/07/guest-blog-update-on-glasgow-climate_29.html 

20 July  - http://blog.felixdodds.net/2021/07/glasgow-climate-cop-and-china.html  

6 July  - http://blog.felixdodds.net/2021/07/guest-blog-update-on-glasgow-climate.html

5 June - http://blog.felixdodds.net/2021/06/guest-blog-highlights-of-uk-cop26.html

UK announces COP26 delegations access modalities: On 9 August, the UK COP26 Presidency announced modalities for COP26 delegations access to the UK under the COVID-19 restrictions, marking the first official announcement on COP26 logistics.  This information was presented at the meeting of the COP25 Bureau held on the same day.

The full text is available at https://ukcop26.org/the-conference/delegates/ and for sake of simplicity, it is copied at the end of this bog as well.

Below you can also find a summary of the main highlights on the special arrangements for COP26 delegations, It has to be noted that these special arrangements will only apply for those who are eligible to COP26 Blue Zone badges. As of today (August 17th), there is no information about the total capacity of the COP26 Blue Zone. The accredited organizations will nominate their preliminary lists until 31 August and on 6 September, the UNFCCC will announce the quotas for each organizations. Those who will be confirmed to the UNFCCC after 6 September will be eligible to enjoy the below mentioned special arrangements. 

After the announcement of these special arrangements, the UK COP26 Presidency convened a special call for 9 Constituency Focal Points to provide further clarities. In my capacity as the LGMA Focal Point, i raised the issue on the process for final decision making among the COP26 Presidency, COP25 Bureau and the UNFCCC Secretariat  in case one Party or group of Parties would express concerns to these modalities in terms of ensuring on equal access to the COP26 negotiations. I also asked whether the UK is considering to grant any exemption for COP26 as a whole, as one of the options currently available to the authority of the UK government. 

In case the below and attached procedures continue to apply, it is highly likely to expect that a significant number of negotiators and observer delegations from UK Red List Countries may need to review their plans to attend COP26, due to the additional quarantine requirements, which may result in an unbalanced representation of all Parties and stakeholders involved in the agenda of COP26. This may also impact in the management of accommodation as well as diversity and scope of COp26 Blue Zone delegations. Additional favourable conditions for delegations from UK Green/Amber List countries, may also result in an additional increase in the number of participants from these countries, which may further widen the equity gap. Such an imbalanced profile may also provide significant impacts on the quality of the side events at the COP26 Blue and Green Zone as well.     

The UK COP26 Presidency confirmed that further announcements and updates will be made available in due course.

UK managed COP26 Zone Side events confirmed: Starting from the first week of  August, the UK COP26 Presidency started to announce events to be held in the UK managed sites at the UK COP26 Blue and UK COP26 Green Zone.

ICLEI/LGMA COP26 Blue Zone Pavilion confirmed: Last week ICLEI received confirmation of 100m2 exhibit space for the LGMA Multilevel Action Pavilion at the COP26 Blue Zone, where ICLEI will act as the Convener and the Scottish Government will act as the Host.



9 August 2021

COP26 is an extraordinary and necessary event. We are working tirelessly to deliver a safe, successful COP26 in Glasgow this November. We are working closely with our public health officials, the Scottish Government, Glasgow City council, all our partners and the UNFCCC on how we will have an in-person event to enable all those who need to, to participate on an equal footing, while also using technology to make the summit as inclusive as possible.

In common with many international events, the way COP operates has to adapt to the COVID context. As we make arrangements for COP26, ensuring the health of participants and the local community is of utmost importance.

The measures are underpinned by current regulations. The COVID situation will continue to evolve and COVID protection measures at COP could change further as the situation evolves. If this were to occur we will keep stakeholders updated.

Key updates

We will have strict COVID testing protocols in place, including regular testing to ensure the health and wellbeing of all staff, attendees, and the public. Delegates will be provided with the necessary test facilities.

Full vaccination is strongly encouraged for all those attending COP. The safest way for COP26 to happen in person is for those attending to be fully vaccinated. With this in mind, the UK offered vaccines to all Registered COP26 delegates who were unable to access them through other means; the window to sign up for this programme has closed and we are working hard to get the vaccines out to those who requested them globally.

Exceptionally for COP26 as a UN event, and with strict accompanying covid testing and safety protocols, the UK will recognise all Covid-19 vaccines as proof of an individual’s vaccination status.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing a full course of COVID-19 vaccinations. For most vaccines that is two jabs. Additional booster jabs are not required.

In order to enable the attendance of all Parties, there will be COP-specific arrangements for the travel restrictions delegates will encounter as they enter England and Scotland.

This includes:

  • requirement for unvaccinated individuals from Red List countries to quarantine for the standard 10 days
  • a reduced quarantine period of 5 days for vaccinated individuals from Red List countries 
  • no requirement for self-isolation on arrival to the UK for those coming from Amber or Green listed countries, whether vaccinated or not
  • more details will be provided by the end of August.

These arrangements strike a balance between allowing critical climate talks to continue with representation from around the globe, while continuing to have measures in place to protect public health. 

We will also be working with the City of Glasgow,  Scottish Government and other partners to make sure that we are able to provide COP attendees with locations outside of the main COP26 venue that can provide Covid-secure events and hospitality.

These will have strong COVID mitigations in place and the measures will sit alongside any local regulations in place at the time of COP26. We will ask COP Blue Zone registered attendees to focus any activities beyond the Blue Zone on these locations. Blue Zone delegates will have access to the Green Zone, but must follow any protocols put in place in relation to public health. We will provide further detail closer to the event itself.

There will be further public health measures in place at COP26 including social distancing, face-coverings when delegates are not seated and a comprehensive set of hygiene/ventilation measures. 

Code of Conduct which outlines expected behaviours for delegates and attendees is standard practice for large UN events, including previous UNFCCC COPs. 

All Registered COP Attendees will be required to confirm that they agree to abide by the behaviours, including those specifically related to Covid-19 measures, outlined within the COP26 Code of Conduct as part of the pre-arrival process. De-badging procedures will apply for serious breaches of the code of conduct.



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