COP26 live: ‘World’s moment of truth’ finally arrives — with delays

Billed as the “world’s moment of truth” by Boris Johnson, COP26 is also expected to rival the famous Paris summit for the biggest attendance despite the Covid era circumstances and the last-minute train chaos.

The total numbers due in Glasgow are 38,895 — a hefty influx, but not even as many as the average football match at the Ibrox stadium, as one Glaswegian cab driver noted.

The COP26 registration total is made up of 21,238 government representatives or party members, as the country delegates are called, plus 13,834 observers, who are from civil society groups and non-government organisations and others, as well as 3,823 media representatives.

Column chart of Number of delegates showing COP attendance grows, spiking in treaty years

The 2015 UN climate summit, COP21, in Paris, drew under 30,000, based on the figures from one UN report, although some 40,000 had been expected initially.

The notables will who not be in Glasgow are some of the world’s biggest emitters, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Russian president Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is not attending because of local elections.

One of the biggest figures of the event arguably, Greta Thunberg, was met by a phalanx of photographers and various groups of chanting suporters on her arrival at Glasgow Central station on Saturday. The Swedish teen is expected to draw huge crowds as one of the speakers at the Global Day for Climate Justice this coming Saturday.


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