COP26 president 'regrets' conference access difficulties
COP26 President Alok Sharma has said he “regrets” logistical difficulties which have led to large queues on the opening days of the climate summit.
Addressing journalists, Sharma admitted there had been delays accessing the conference since it opened on Monday.
Delegates have been forced to endure lengthy queues before entering the complex at the SEC in Glasgow.
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said measures put in because of the pandemic had meant the conference could not be as accessible as previous COPs.
Sharma said: “This is a unique COP in quite extraordinary times. Of course, we regret any logistical issues that people feel are stopping them coming in in a timely manner. I hope that will settle over the next few days.”
Espinosa said putting in mitigation measures due to Covid was the “responsible thing to do”.
Responding to criticisms COP26 hadn’t been transparent, she said: “This is the first time that we have asked governments to be represented only by two delegates in the room…the limitations for space are for everyone. It’s just a question of capacity.”
Sharma spoke as finance ministers and those from the finance sector met at COP26 to discuss mobilising international finance to tackle climate change.
The UK Government says trillions of dollars of additional investment is needed to secure a low-carbon future and support countries already living with the impact of the changing climate.
Sharma said the world’s most vulnerable countries, those most at risk from climate change, were “front and centre” of his thoughts.
He said he was “cautiously optimistic” the COP was making progress on a range of issues.
The world’s richest countries are set to fall short of delivering $100bn in support for the poorest nations in 2021, but Sharma said “significant progress” was being made to achieving the $100bn goal in 2022.