Guest blog update on Glasgow Climate COP preparations
Director of Global Advocacy ● ICLEI World Secretariat
UK COP26 COVID-19 Updates: As of 1 September, a new update is available on the UK COP26 Presidency webpage - Delegates - UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) at the SEC – Glasgow 2021 (ukcop26.org) The text for the first time hints that COP26 Blue Zone will be designed for a capacity of 10,000 delegations at any given time, which is almost half of COP25.
UNFCCC info for COP26 Participants: is available at Information for COP 26 participants (A-Z) | UNFCCC These will apply for those who have COP26 Blue Zone badges. At the section on health, it is noted that Parties will be represented by 1+1 delegations at the Plenary Sessions, without any information on observer engagement or other measures on other meetings at the Blue Zone. But this measure can be interpreted to be consistent with the UK COP26 Presidency plans to have Blue Zone to host only 10,000 delegations at any given time.
COP26 Blue Zone Quotas: Yesterday, the UNFCCC allocated quotas for each accredited observer organization. ICLEI received the smallest number of Blue Zone quotas in the history of COPs. In fact, our minimum number was 20 at the Bonn Zone at COP23 in 2017 in Bonn. but at that time, all side events were at the Bula Zone which did not need UNFCCC accreditation so the situation now at COp26 is really hard to imagine and manage. We hope the UNFCCC and the UK COP26 Presidency without further delay define modalities of observer engagement as soon as possible in order to confirm delegations.
COP26 Blue Zone badge holders will not pay for UK visas and will eligible to enjoy specific COVID-19 quarantine and access flexibilities announced by the UKCOP26 Presidency.
CAN calls for COP26 Postponement to 2022: On 7 September 2021 Climate Action Network (CAN), as the biggest environmental NGO constituency, released a statement that asks for postponement of COP26 to 2022, which will be available at https://climatenetwork.org/ .
In their statement they said:
“safe, inclusive and just global climate conference in early November will be impossible given the failure to support the access to vaccines to millions of people in poor countries, the rising costs of travel and accommodation, including for quarantine in and outside of the UK and the uncertainty in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic”.