COP26: Green vehicles, but red faces, as there are too few charging points at the climate summit
When the organizers of COP26 unveiled the vehicles that would carry VIPs to the global environment summit, electric cars were the obvious green option.
However, it has now been found that there are not enough electrical outlets in Glasgow to recharge the fleet, leading to the embarrassing prospect of huge generators having to be shipped to provide the power.
There are fewer than 250 electric charging points in the city – about one for 23 such cars.
Crowds in Brussels, Belgium taking part in a climate march ahead of the highly anticipated COP26 Summit in Glasgow
And when the conference kicks off next Sunday, demand will increase with the additional 250 Jaguar Land Rovers available for high-level delegates.
A COP26 spokesman admitted generators might be needed – but insisted they run on hydrogenated vegetable oil, made from waste products like chip fat, rather than dirty fuels like diesel.
The government said the Jaguars used, including the I-Pace SUVs, “all come from existing fleets in the UK to ensure the carbon footprint remains low”.
Jaguar Land Rover said the cars, which cost more than £ 62,000 each, could travel 292 miles on a single charge – enough to travel from Glasgow to John O’Groats.
Glasgow’s mascot for the European Championship 2018 and the European Short Course 2019, Bonnie the Seal, is celebrating a comeback for the COP26
COP26, which takes place on the Scottish Event Campus, will be the most high-profile event of all time in Scotland with around 25,000 participants and 120 heads of state.
A huge security operation, code-named Operation Urram, uses 10,000 officers and 200 police dogs every day, including seconded officers from England.
Specialized “protest removal” squads will stand ready to take action against illegal interference while the armed forces and coast guard remain on alert for serious threats.
In addition to protests from Insulate Britain, Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace, Glasgow is facing further disruption from the sheer volume of additional visitors exacerbated by RMT railroad strikes and major road closures.
COP26 has been described as “the world’s last best hope to unite” on climate change – but China’s President Xi Jinping and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will not attend, slapping hopes of substantial progress.
It is hoped that the Queen will attend a banquet for delegates.
Bonnie Reborn …
Down-to-earth facts behind the scenes at COP26 …
- Bonnie, the beetle’s eye seal, is the mascot – appropriately recycled from the 2018 European Sports Championship in Glasgow.
- The Scottish government has designed a special tartan made from recycled wool from Tuscany.
- Police sniffer dogs have searched Glasgow’s hotels – for bed bugs.
- Private landlords charge up to £ 36,000 to rent an apartment for two weeks.
- Two cruise ships with a capacity of almost 6,000 people also offer overnight accommodation on the Clyde.
Britain is taking the lead in phasing out fossil fuels
As the host of COP26, the UK can be proud of its record for reducing its dependence on fossil fuels over the past decade.
A snapshot of the country’s energy mix shows that no coal was used to generate electricity on Friday.
Ten years ago coal provided nearly 40 percent of our supply and last October 1.5 percent.
In contrast, in China, whose president is opposed to COP26, 56.8 percent of its energy production was derived from coal last year.
The UK’s net zero carbon target is also moving forward as renewables – solar, wind and water – accounted for 36.1 percent of our electricity supply on Friday. That is more than three times their contribution of 11.3 percent in 2011.
Britain’s 11,000 wind turbines now generate around a quarter of our electricity needs, and solar power has grown from zero in 2011 to around ten percent now.
But the British are baffled by their “carbon footprint”
More than two fifths of the British do not understand the term “carbon footprint”, as a survey showed.
Despite massive media coverage, researchers found that 42 percent of people don’t understand the meaning of the term climate change. In Leicester it’s 53 percent and in Newcastle it’s 46 percent.
14 percent of those surveyed said it meant waste recycling, others
14 percent thought it had something to do with the weather.
And five percent admitted they had absolutely no idea what it meant.
Of the 13 cities surveyed for food company Upfield, Glasgow, which is set to host the COP26 summit, and London, where 36 percent did not understand the term, were the ones with the best knowledge of the term.
In both Cambridge and Liverpool it was 39 percent.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “carbon footprint” is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular person, organization, or community.