Not all is well in the build up to the COP26 jamboree in Glasgow.
Major corporate sponsors for the UN Climate Change Conference – including GlaxoSmithKlein, Microsoft, NatWest and Sky – are reportedly concerned about how it’s being managed.
The Guardian got its hands on a letter being prepared complaining about President Alok Sharma’s alleged “mismanagement” and poor communication. One source told the Guardian: “They had an extra year to prepare for COP due to Covid, but it doesn’t feel like this time was used to make better progress. Everything feels very last minute.”
The COP26 conference has been marketed as last chance to put the planet on track to meet its green ambitions, but the build-up has not felt that way. China is the world’s biggest polluter but it’s leader Xi is unlikely to attend. India and Brazil may also be absent. Russia’s leader President Putin doesn’t appear to be joining either.
There is even worry about a fleet of luxury electric Land Rovers which will be escorting leaders. The vehicles may have to be powered by “chip-fat powered” generators because of a shortage of charging points.
The criticism of Sharma may be slightly unfair, though. The gathering has coincided with a global energy crunch. And Sharma has had the difficult, possibly impossible, task of coordinating world leaders while struggling to get a clear line from the UK government about what its own precise plans might be, beyond rhetoric, on nuclear energy and net zero infrastructure. If anyone knows what the plan is please get in touch with Alok Sharma.