Scotland on Sunday readers' letters: Hosting COP26 online would be a far greener option

I would be absolutely astonished if I were the first to moot this suggestion regarding the proposed COP26 conference; would it not be in the best interests of not only health but also in the interest of the environment if we were to take the lessons learned from the current pandemic?

Extinction Rebellion Scotland's Blue Rebels perform outside the SEC in Glasgow, where the global climate change conference Cop26 will take place in November.
Extinction Rebellion Scotland's Blue Rebels perform outside the SEC in Glasgow, where the global climate change conference Cop26 will take place in November.

Many companies have now seen the wisdom of having staff work from home with the obvious reduction in road miles, heating and electricity use and the supplying of offices with such mundane sundries such as coffee machines and loo roll.

Would not the reduction in air miles, hotel and inefficient venue use and all the associated road travel and subsequent congestion not be best headed off at the pass and the conference run online?

Surely this would be the greener option all round, have none of them heard of skype, zoom or similar video conferencing software? As Glasgow will no doubt be flooded with reporters, protesters and other members of representatives entourages, yes they will bring monies much needed by the recovering businesses; however are we really going greener by hosting it?

Doubtless the local motorway network will snarl up due to current diversions and additional security based ones, notwithstanding the almost certain blocking of it by the likes of extinction rebellion causing even more pollution with the vehicles sitting idling awaiting the chance to get on with their day.

Much as I am fond of Glasgow and indeed its people and wish them to grow and flourish, surely the risk of spreading Covid, the delays in traffic and all the other congestions and inconveniences is unfair on them.

J Tripney, via email

Digital divide

Congratulations on your Support our Libraries campaign - a subject dear to my heart.

Reading has brought great comfort to many during lockdowns. It has been a joy to see local children and adults sharing their books with boxes outside houses, little libraries etc. But if you can't read, yet another reminder that you're excluded.

The digital divide and literacy issues predated Covid-19. They are but another example of the SNP government's failings. A government that really cared about literacy could have done so much more.

Arms-length outsourcing of essential services needs careful scrutiny, with Glasgow Live in the spotlight. Government hype and the reality of voluntary literacy schemes do not match.

Public libraries provide access to essential information - books, computer access and help, listening ears. They were even deemed important enough for hypothecated taxation in the past; the penny rate.

Moyra Forrest, Edinburgh

Blame game

As a retired library assistant, I wholeheartedly welcome your Support our Libraries campaign. I was, however, surprised and annoyed to see a photo of “First Minister Nicola Sturgeon … a voracious reader who would mourn the loss of local libraries” (Letters page 5th September).

If that is really the case, why have Ms. Sturgeon and her government imposed increasing cutbacks on local authorities over the last few years, forcing councils to make some very hard choices and impose harmful budget cuts on library services. If any local libraries are lost, I will be blaming Ms. Sturgeon.Anne Simms, Falkirk

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Support our Libraries: Scotland on Sunday campaign launch

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