The UK has received the ironic “Fossil of the Day” award for failing to make Cop26 the most accessible climate summit and “hindering civil society’s access to the negotiations”.
The prize, organised by Climate Action Network International (CAN), is traditionally awarded every day during the Cop conferences to countries that “have done their best to block negotiations”.
CAN said the UK presidency of Cop26, along with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), received the award also in part for a lack of organisation after long queues formed to access the conference venue on Monday.
In a statement, the network said: “CAN asked for a Cop postponement as we feared people from the developing world wouldn’t be able to come and advocate for climate justice in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“But the UK presidency insisted that Cop26 was going ahead and was prepared to welcome the global community to ‘the most inclusive Cop ever’. This spirit of inclusivity has showcased what the Brits do best – the art of queuing – for hours in some cases.
“People who have invested time and resources to travel to Glasgow have waited patiently only to find there is ‘no room at the inn’ for civil society and told to ‘join events online’ – to then find they were offline.”
Delegates were forced to queue for up to two hours on Monday morning while trying to pass security to access the venue, with many complaining about the lack of social distancing.
CAN awarded a second Fossil of the Day award to Australia for what it described as “unconscionable behaviour”.
“The Aussies are already excelling in heading for rock bottom this Cop,” a spokesperson said. “They’ve not only spectacularly failed to deliver ambitious contributions but have also approved three new coal projects in the last months.”