Joe Biden accused of ‘falling asleep’ at COP26

Joe Biden has been accused of falling asleep during the COP26 Climate Summit opening speeches in Glasgow.

The US president was filmed folding his arms and briefly closing his eyes at the conference.

Biden, who flew into Edinburgh from Rome yesterday appeared to briefly close his eyes during a speech.

The 78-year-old was then approached by an aide during the speech during the pre-recorded message from South African activist Eddie Ndopu.

The clip was shared by Zach Purser Brown, a reporter for The Washington Post on social media and sparked a significant debate with many suggesting that the travel undertaken by Joe Biden was the reason for his apparent dosing.

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Kori Schake Director of foreign/defense at the American Enterprise Institute defended President Biden on social media writing: “When I worked in the Joint Staff and would go NATO meetings, we'd typically fly overnight then have a whole day of meetings...I'd grow my fingernails long to stick them into my palms during the meeting to keep from falling asleep. Nice work by the aide to intervene.”

Piers Morgan added however: "Jeez… not the best look when you’re trying to tell the world to wake up."

A screengrab from the COP26 live feed

Yesterday, Biden apologised for the previous administration pulling out the Paris Agreement and used his speaking slot to call for Glasgow to “be the start of a decade of transformative action that preserves our planet and raises the quality of life for people everywhere”.

Acknowledging that those who were responsible for much of the problems faced had an “overwhelming obligation” to nations which were not, he said: “We can do this, we just have to make a choice to do it. So, let’s get to work.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also photographed with his eyes closed as he sat between United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and David Attenborough.

Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy shared the clip of the Prime Minister, tweeting: "Time to wake up @borisjohnson the world is burning.

Around 120 heads of state and government are attending the world leaders’ summit at the start of the Cop26 talks, where countries are under pressure to take more action this decade to cut the emissions driving rising temperatures.