Thursday 3 June 2021

COP-26: Fiasco Foretold

I'm not sure what coincidence has the UK hosting both the G7 and COP-26 within months of each other, but there we are: two rather visible "opportunities" for Boris to go grandstanding on the world stage and promote whatever vision he has of post-Brexit Britain.  And he's already decided they must go ahead in the flesh, carbon footprint and all.  What could go wrong?

It's COP-26 that could go wrong: but the G7 may play a role in this too.

G7 itself will always be relatively straightforward: it's a meeting of friends (more or less), all fairly united against, *ahem*, China & Russia & general global wickedness, all happy to subscribe to a self-congratulatory closing communiqué.  It's being held in sunny Cornwall with the usual excellent preparations (we are still very good at this kind of thing).  Local businesses and residents that might be adversely impacted have been given a bung to holiday somewhere else for the duration.  There's a big local RAF station (with one of the world's longest runways) nearby for security, and making Biden's people feel comfortable.  (Check it out on google earth - there's a baseball diamond right in the middle ...)  Many of the entourages will be housed on a cruise ship offshore Falmouth, nicely out of harm's way.

BUT.  The protesters are massing.  Us all being democracies, like, this is to be, errr, accepted if not really encouraged.  OK, it's quite hard for XR to intercept VIPs who are being helicoptered in from very secure locations ... but hey, it's summertime; some of these nutters like to spend their summers stoned and causing trouble on the beaches around Newquay anyway; they've become pretty adept at making spectacles of themselves; and the media love a good visual ...

Hopefully not: but I think we may foresee some bother.  But that could be quite domestic in scale (and easy to contain) compared with what might happen in Glasgow in November when something like 30,000 delegates show up.  Some of those will essentially be protesters themselves - and try keeping them all out of harm's way.  Does Boris have a plan that ends triumphantly for him?  It doesn't seem that there could be any certainty about that in advance.

  • the protesters will have had a dry run at G7, and will potentially have some scores to settle with Plod.  There's many a conference in the past that is mostly known for the fisticuffs.
  • the EU won't exactly be cheering Boris on.
  • so many countries now have "legally binding" zero-carbon targets, there's loads of scope for legalistic nit-picking about whether Enough Is Being Done - quite sufficient to derail a grandiose closing statement of the kind the hosts always want to make.

After herculean diplomatic efforts before and during, the French only just pulled this off at COP-21 in 2015, and then, only by a sleight of hand - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, hahah! - that everyone's rumbled now.  Indeed, it was widely pilloried for its emptiness almost immediately afterwards.

We may be sure the NGOs will be after something as lot more tangible this time.  Sadly, I fear this means Boris will promise something Green, unilateral and tremendously stupid on our behalves to get his headlines.  Oh dear.



Anomalous Cowshed said...

"the protesters will have had a dry run at G7, and will potentially have some scores to settle with Plod."


But there might be a slight difference in mucking about with Devon & Cornwall plod, bulked up with whoever, and Police Scotland, where Sturgeon's in charge.

Who knows?

Matt said...

Net zero by 2022 probably. Thanks Boris (or Carrie?).

Matt said...

@ Cowshed

Are Devon & Cornwall police less woke than Avon & Somerset who were happy assist with law breaking if it fit their own prejuices?

Anomalous Cowshed said...

Something a bit more tangible, both for Boris and Little Nicky - hydrogen.

There's a plastics to hydrogen plant just received PP for a build up near the Clyde. Powerhouse Energy Group, I think.

RR made some announcements about the SMR project recently.

Handy, in that a push on these sorts of things would help in convincing the Boche, elections in September, that Russian Gas ain't the way to go. Helpful for the French, that.

Anomalous Cowshed said...

Matt, no idea. But the SNP have been pushing their own vision onto the force over the years. How they might react is tricky - a wee spot of acting fully and entirely within the law, right up to it's limits and no further could produce a political response.

lilith said...

As long as the protesters cross dress in baby blue and pink stripes no body will touch them.

Anonymous said...

a baseball diamond right in the middle

Of the runway?

AndrewZ said...

COP-26 has to "go ahead in the flesh" because the politicians want to grandstand, so they need an audience to perform to. The media will also give it more coverage if they get to attend a big event and feel so terribly important. The bureaucrats and NGO grifters will want a junket, and meeting in person provides far more opportunities for off-the-record lobbying and deal-making than a video conference.

But yes, the big danger is that Johnson will make yet another ruinous green commitment for the sake of a few headlines. He says whatever is expedient for himself at any given moment and he'll be out of office by the time the bill arrives, so he won't care about the consequences.

John Miller said...

The Grfter in chief, Greta, just has to go to these things herself so how can mere mortals resist?

When you think about “zero carbon” if you have a couple of brain cells you realise that it’s actually suicide, but then the state education sector has equated science with heresy and cancelled it.

Politically it’s a billion Brownie points now, but suicide in 20 years time when you break the reality to the punters. The Tories must be praying that the election roulette works in their favour and the necessary announcements fall to Labour.

dearieme said...

Send Dilyn the Dog to give Boris's speeches. Yap, yap, yap.

I can't abide greenery-wankery.

Judge Debt said...

Did we ever give those one billion mosquito nets to Africa, or whatever it was Brown was trying to make sound impressive a while back?
Did Africa ever get any at all? Did they even want them? Or were they like the free laptops, free boilers, free insulation, free owl, non promises of every administration?

Anonymous said...

Cornwall is full of eco-trustafarians anyway, and it's easy to ship in more from Totnes and Dartmouth. I imagine the ususal suspects in Bristol will fancy a week or two in sunny Cornwall as well. Surely a free festival site is being set up?

btw you know RAF St Mawgan has handed over the actual runways to Cornwall Airport, and a/c/t them scheduled flights (all 3 of them?) will run as usual.

As for Glesga - well, as we saw in Edinburgh a few weeks back, UK immigration law is powerless against a mob who have the backing of Scots politicos. Let's hope for plenty of cold November rain - but the Scots are a hardy bunch.

Anonymous said...

I see XR (unlike say UK anti-immigration activists) are still able to access UK banking.

Anonymous said...

Must say I wouldn't fancy taking my kids where 500 XR people are camped "3.25 miles from St Ives". Still I suppose it'll be educational.

"In line with the rebel agreement, please do not bring alcohol or illegal drugs on to the site."


Most XR people use Telegram/Signal during what they call "actions" because Facebook-owned Whatsapp is easily linked to their real-world ID aka FB account.