COP26 diary: Daily briefing from UN summit on climate change for Tuesday, November 2

The Scotsman takes a wry look at events as they unfold at COP26.

The long and winding road

Spare a thought for one delegation attending COP26.

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In a possibly not too well thought out move someone on their forward planning team decided they would all be booked into a stunning and secluded west coast hotel.

Perhaps studying a map of Scotland’s roads network, particularly the lower reaches of the A77, would have led to different accommodation arrangements.

We will not name their location to spare any blushes and on security grounds but it is a somewhat awkward destination for a stretched limousine and is often busy with ferries making their way to and from the Northern Irish ferry port at Cairnryan in Wigtownshire.

As the picture captured by im Ryder shows, their choice of vehicle is not entirely suited to the rigours of a route that many in Scotland would like see made into a dual-carriageway.

Fill me up

Robbie the Pics - godfather to Leonardo DiCaprio

Continuing on the subject of big motors, just how many miles to the gallon does one get from a ‘Beast’ – the nickname for US President Joe Biden’s General Motors produced heavyweight limousines.

Okay, so they’re weighed down with armour plating, blast-proof windows and mine-resistant floor-pans, but having to re-fill at a public petrol station after just one journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow and back is hardly in keeping with the ethos of COP26.

Gallon-guzzlers fuel the demand for oil which in turn is widely agreed to be one of the major polluters of our planet but Mr Biden could hardly be expected to travel in a convoy of Nissan Leafs.

The answer, according to US websites, is ‘fewer than 10 mpg’.

Leonardo DiCaprio who starred in 1988's The Man in the Iron Mask, wore a different style of face cover as he attended COP26.
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Another day of queueing

Those close to the event maintain that years of painstaking organisation went into COP26 – but did anyone consider the people left outside queuing on chilly Glasgow autumn days?

For the second day running hundreds faced delays getting into the venue with waits of more than an hour swiftly becoming the norm.

A large crowd had built up by 9am and by midday hundreds of people were still queuing outside.

The Finnieston 'smartie tube'

Each person attending Cop26 must show proof of a negative coronavirus test and their accreditation ID before they can pass through turnstiles into the campus.

Once past the perimeter fence they must go through scanners in a security hall.

A bottleneck built up on both opening days with delegates reportedly having missed meetings as a result and attendance may now have to be limited.

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Fuelling more air pollution?

While the great and the good of the world attend COP26 to decide how best to tackle global warming, air pollution, plastics in our seas and myriad other problems, spare a thought for the everyday motorist.

New figures show that traffic jams in Glasgow have surged due to the summit.

Average journey times at 4pm on Monday took 58% longer compared with free-flow conditions, according to location technology firm TomTom.

That is up from 41% during the same period in 2019 and the slower they go the more pollutants they emit.

Does Glasgow really need another ‘tube’?

As inhabitants of Scotland’s largest city are well aware, labelling someone a ‘tube’ is a well-used slur which implies that perhaps they’re none too bright or have done something particularly foolish.

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So when protesters caused delays for those travelling to and from the summit led to the cancellation of the conference shuttle bus and the normal X19 service to Finnieston Station, the suggestion that travellers departed via the ‘smartie tube’ no doubt sparked fond memories for many Glaswegians.

Hollywood comes to town

Leonardo DiCaprio at COP26 was a certain crowd-pleaser.

His links to Scotland are particularly strong as his godfather is a legend among modern ‘freedom fighters’.

Robbie the Pict – self-styled leader of the Pictish Free State micronation on Skye – has secretly been shouldering the role of spiritual guardian to the performer since his birth in Los Angeles in 1974.

Brian Robertson got to know DiCaprio’s father when he lived in the US and was asked to be godfather when baby Leo was born,

He changed his name in 1984 because he no longer wanted to be a British citizen and was one of the leaders of the successful fight to scrap the highly contentious tolls on the Skye Bridge

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The sights you see on Scotland’s back roads

And finally…

President Biden got to see rather more of Scotland that he anticipated as his motorcade was making its way along one of country roads.

Initial plans to fly by helicopter from Edinburgh Airport were reportedly thwarted by unpredictable cloud and fog conditions.

You can imagine the banter inside his ‘Beast’ limo as it passed a rural cottage just as its inhabitant had a relaxing stretch, leaving nothing to the imagination, at the front window.

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