Corporate sponsors say COP26 is “very last minute”

corporate sponsors COP26, climate change
© Eduardo Huelin

Speaking to The Guardian, a group of corporate sponsors for COP26 have concerns about the “very last minute” organisation of the event

A letter of complaint to the organisers in May, 2021, was written by Sky and co-signed by key COP26 sponsors.

Sponsors describe preparations as “very last minute”

In these letters, the corporate sponsors described ongoing preparations as “very last minute” – suggesting that Ministers had not been available for pre-agreed meetings, there was little information about how the event would run on the day, and the cost of attendance is sometimes 30% higher than it was for COP25 in Madrid.

Speaking to The Guardian, the source said: “They had an extra year to prepare for Cop due to Covid, but it doesn’t feel like this time was used to make better progress. Everything feels very last minute.”

The source further explained that “very young” and unexperienced civil servants, some of whom have never attended a COP, were being tasked with managing relationships between private sector sponsors.

“COP isn’t about branding”

Responding to the public critique of private sector customers, a Whitehall employee told The Guardian: “It feels like some of these sponsors have forgotten the actual reason we’re in Glasgow. Cop isn’t about branding, it’s about tackling climate change. Keeping 1.5C in reach is the best thing you can do for your bottom line: they would do well to remember this.”

However, the 1.5C goal remains difficult as major countries appear to shirk attendance.

Currently, Chinese and Russian state leaders are expected to miss the climate gathering. The overarching goal of COP26 is to create a global consensus on how to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Without an international and cohesive set of actions, especially from high-pollution countries like China and Russia, the threshold for global warming will increase beyond what populations and nature can handle.

“Strict implementation” is necessary

Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, said: “Dedicated support is required for reducing the cost of capital and encouraging private sector participation. Strict implementation of the Paris Agreement is the only way to check global emissions and thereby global warming.”

The hope is that countries can agree on an implementation of the Paris Agreement, at COP26 in November.


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