Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ £48million Gulf Stream has led a 400-strong parade of private jets into COP25 including Prince Albert of Monaco, scores of royals and dozens of ‘green’ CEOs – as an extraordinary traffic jam forced empty planes to fly 30 miles to find space to park.
Some environmental activists at the COP26 climate conference will be urging others to cut down on air travel and eat less meat, but apparently it is fine for billionaires to fly in on their own planes on routes already served by commercial airlines.
Meanwhile, as the super rich were whisked away into waiting limos, hundreds of less fortunate delegates were left unable to get to Glasgow after brutal storms crippled rail links, forcing travellers to sleep on the floor of Euston station in London.
On Sunday, MailOnline observed at least 52 private jets landing at Glasgow – while estimates put the total number flying in for the conference at 400. Conservative predictions suggest the fleet of private jets arriving for COP26 will blast out 13,000tonnes of carbon dioxide in total – equivalent to the amount consumed by more than 1,600 Britons in a year.
Prince Charles was among those travelling by non-commercial plane from the G20 in Rome, MailOnline can reveal. Flight records suggest the plane was an MOD jet.
A Clarence House spokesman said: ‘His Royal Highness has personally campaigned for a shift towards Sustainable Aviation Fuel and would only undertake travel to Rome when it was agreed that sustainable fuel would be used in the plane.’ The spokesman said that sustainable fuel would also be used ‘wherever possible… from now on’.
As Boris Johnson used his opening address to compare world leaders to James Bond trying to diffuse a ‘doomsday device’ some found their own way of rising to the challenge, with Prince Albert of Monaco appearing to be among those choosing to fly private – according to an analysis of flight records by MailOnline.
Bank of America, which in PR documents boasts of its ‘commitment to sustainability’, was the registered owner of one private jet arriving in Scotland. They are far more polluting than commercial planes, cars or trains, with the typical one belching out two tonnes of carbon dioxide every hour.
Mr Bezos – who regularly lectures the world on climate change – arrived in Glasgow fresh from celebrating Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ 66th birthday on a £2million-a-week superyacht off the coast of Turkey in an event that generated fresh claims of green hypocrisy. He reached the boat by helicopter, according to reports.
Joe Biden touched down in Edinburgh today while Germany’s Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron of France arrived at Glasgow. President Biden alone will generate an estimated 2.2million pounds of carbon to reach the summit, thanks to a fleet of four planes, the Marine One helicopter and an enormous motorcade including The Beast and numerous SUVs.
Today, Boris Johnson warned it is a ‘minute to midnight’ to stop a climate disaster. Among developments –
Amazon airways: Jeff Bezos’ Gulfstream private jet – which reportedly cost him £48million – arrives at Prestwick Airport near Glasgow
Mr Bezos met Prince Charles this week to discuss climate change. He tweeted: ‘The Prince of Wales has been involved in fighting climate change and protecting our beautiful world far longer than most. We had a chance to discuss these important issues on the eve of #COP26 — looking for solutions to heal our world, and how the @BezosEarthFund can help’
Joe Biden lands at Edinburgh Airport on Air Force One this morning. He will generate an estimated 2.2 million pounds of carbon during his trip to Europe
Air Force One landed in Edinburgh, while other international delegations arrived at Glasgow and Prestwick instead
Joe Biden’s presidential motorcade is pictured driving near Livingston as it makes its way from Edinburgh to Glasgow today
Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron leaving their government jets at Glasgow Airport this morning
Boris Johnson has told world leaders at the start of the COP26 summit that they can no longer afford to delay taking major action to address climate change as he warned ‘the longer we fail to act, the worse it gets’
Other private jets blasted in to Scotland from destinations including Stockholm, Rome, London and Brussels – which are all served by regular commercial routes. The majority of the planes were hired from rental firms, making it difficult to work out who was on board.
There was so much air traffic that some jets dropped off VIPs at Glasgow Airport and then flew 30 miles to nearby Prestwick due to a shortage of parking. Some also landed in Edinburgh, before presumably travelling by land.
Boris Johnson flew in from Rome on his Union flag-embossed Airbus A321, but was stuck circling Glasgow for more than 20 minutes because of the number of jets arriving.
He was behind the President of South Korea, who also flew in from Rome, where a G20 conference took place over the weekend.
It also emerged today that the CEO of Sky, one of COP26’s main sponsors, had been regularly commuting by private jet to the UK from her home 3,500miles away in the US.
Since January, Dana Strong had been flying back and forth between London and Philadelphia, where she was based, until moving permanently to the UK in June, the Telegraph reported.
A Dassault Falcon 8X belonging to the Monaco royal family arrives in Edinburgh early this morning
Lots of the jets arriving for COP26 yesterday were rented from private firms, making it hard to find out who was on board. Pictured is a Bombardier Challenger 605 operated by Malta-based Vista Jet
A Dassault Falcon 7X belonging to the government of Namibia arrives at Edinburgh Airport before the COP26 conference
Another Dassault Falcon 7X – which is registered in Nice, France – touches down at Edinburgh Airport yesterday
This plane – a Dassault Falcon 7X with the callsign RA-09007 – belongs to the ‘special flight squadron’ of Russian airline Rossiya
A Cessna 560XL Citation Excel XLS+ belonging to private jet operator Air Service Liege arrives at Edinburgh Airport
A Bombardier Global Express owned by Executive Jet Management arrives in Edinburgh. Many of the jets are rented, making it difficult to find who was using them
A Hawker Beechcraft 400XP owned by Smart Jet, an operator based in Warsaw, Poland, arrives at Edinburgh Airport
This plane – tail number SE-RIL – is a Cessna 560XLS Citation Excel run by a jet rental company based in Sweden. It is seen arriving in Edinburgh
A chartered Boeing 737 belonging to the Abu Dhabi Royal Family spotted landing at Glasgow Airport yesterday afternoon
President Buhari of Nigeria is greeted by supporters at he gets off his Nigerian Air Force jet at Glasgow prior to COP26
‘Guess the rules don’t apply to them’: Outrage as climate warriors Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos celebrate Microsoft co-founder’s birthday on a $2M-a-week yacht off Turkey where Amazon boss flew in on helicopter
Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos were slammed as hypocrites for lecturing the world on the need to combat climate change by reducing carbon footprint while at the same time reportedly vacationing on superyachts off the coast of Turkey.
Multi-billionaire and Microsoft founder Gates celebrated his 66th birthday in Turkey in the company of fellow tycoon and Amazon founder Bezos on Friday.
Bezos was among the 50 guests invited to Gates’ private party beside the Mediterranean. It’s not clear whether any of Gates’ family helped him celebrate at his exclusive bash.
For his 66th birthday this weekend, Bill Gates transported his guests by helicopter from his €1.8million-a-week rental yacht ‘Lana’ to the Sea Me Beach club in Fethiye
According to reports, Bezos traveled to Gates’ superyacht by helicopter.
The Blue Origin founder is said to have made the 120-mile round trip journey by chopper from Govoka to the resort town of Fethiye.
The jet fuel used to power helicopters emits 21.095 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon burned.
Since helicopters use up approximately 10.75 miles per gallon, Bezos’ helicopter emitted some 215 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Both Bezos and Gates are reportedly staying on superyachts – each of which emits 7,020 tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 19 tons per day.
Social media users reacted with fury, noting that Bezos and Gates were contradicting their own statements about the need to tackle climate change.
‘The sick and twisted for a ’66th’ birthday party,’ tweeted one Twitter user, who accused them of having a ‘do as I say not as I do’ attitude.
Another Twitter user commented: ‘The horrendous energy waster Bill Gates makes his contribution to CO2 reduction for his 66th birthday by having his fat body transported by his own yacht and then by helicopter to a certain place.’
‘Guess the rules don’t apply to them?’ according to Rose Y.
RD Carrington commented: ‘More from people who will be bashing the rest of us again next week about – climate change.’
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘These are the people putting us in our place and lecturing us about about the so called ‘climate crisis’.’
A Twitter user with the handle ‘LynnT’ commented in response to the reports of the Bezos-Gates meeting: ‘But climate change y’all.’
Another Twitter user wondered whether Bezos and Gates had ‘no climate change fear?’
Yesterday, MailOnline watched from beside the runway as plane after plane carrying leaders, dignitaries, security personnel landed at Glasgow before being ferried away by lines of SUV’s and private limousines.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was among the first to arrive in a delegation of 100 people on a Biman Airways jet from Dhaka.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, call sign BBC2012, had been specially commissioned to fly the Premier and her entourage to Scotland for the global gathering.
The plane burns around 5400litres of fuel an hour meaning it needed more than 64,000litres to land it at Glasgow Airport over the near-12 hour trip.
Waiting for her were scores of supporters who waved the country’s flag and unfurled banners welcoming her.
She was soon followed shortly afterwards by the President of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Ghazouani whose delegation of 10 people flew in from Nouakchott on a Boeing 737 Max 8, call sign MRT001.
Egypt President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi landed on another Boeing and was surrounded by security guards as he was driven away through the rain.
Other planes from countries not normally served by Glasgow arrived from Ukraine, Pakistan, Armenia, South Korea, Australia, India, Rwanda, Republic of Congo, Angola and Palestine.
Cyprus landed an Airbus A319 landed at Glasgow Airport from Larnaca and it later shifted to the city’s second airport at Prestwick.
Adding to the massive fuel consumption on Monday will be Estonia, Bulgaria, Bahrain, Jordan, Ghana, Croatia who are all due to land jets at Glasgow Airport.
A German Air Force jet will also land at Glasgow Airport today.
The Japanese Air Force One, Air India One and Israeli Wing of Zion are also expected to arrive carrying their leaders for the summit.
President Joe Biden alone will generate an estimated 2.2million pounds of carbon to reach the summit.
The gigantic carbon footprint comprises 2.16 million pounds of carbon dioxide generated by the four large planes that make up his airborne entourage on the trip to Italy and Scotland, where the president will speak at the COP26 summit on change in Glasgow, with the remainder emitted by Biden’s cars.
His fleet is comprised of the heavily modified Boeing 747 he travels on, known as Air Force One when the president is on board, an identical decoy, and two huge C-17 Globemaster planes to carry his battalion of cars and helicopters.
One airport source told MailOnline: ‘It doesn’t make sense to have all these extra planes landing in Scotland. They are only adding to the problem by flying all these planes in when it’s quite easy to stay home and chat.
‘We have all learned about Zoom calls and how efficient they are and can stop the need for people to travel. I don’t get why all these planes have to fly these leaders and their people in.
‘They could have just as well held video conferences and invited everybody, politicians and public, to join in. The sight of these planes landing is a very negative image against their messages against climate change.’
But today, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss insisted it was not possible to hold such a major conference over a video call.
She told BBC Breakfast: ‘I think everyone who’s ever done a Zoom call knows that they are quite useful for some things but when you really get into crunch negotiations and want to look somebody in the eye and talk to them face to face you do need to meet in person.
‘World leaders are going to have to make some tough decisions and commit to things they didn’t necessarily want to when they arrived at the conference and that’s why it’s really important to have people face to face to allow these negotiations to take place.’
Matt Finch, of the Transport and Environment campaign group, told the Sunday Record: ‘The average private jet, and we are not talking Air Force One, emits two tons of CO2 for every hour in flight.
‘It can’t be stressed enough how bad private jets are for the environment, it is the worst way to travel by miles. Our research has found that most journeys could easily be completed on scheduled flights.’
A Bombardier CRJ-200 from Montreal lands at Edinburgh Airport yesterday prior to the climate conference in Glasgow
This Brazilian-built Embraer ERJ-135BJ Legacy 600 belonging to the Serbian government touched down in the Scottish capital yesterday
A Beech B200 Super King Air operated by 2 Excel Aviation arriving at Edinburgh Airport yesterday afternoon
A fleet of SUVs wait at Glasgow Airport to pick up delegates and take them to the climate conference
Far away from the world of the super-rich, hundreds of people – including some COP26 – were stuck at Euston after brutal weather crippled rail links
FLOP 26: Boris tells COP that the ‘doomsday device’ is real and it is ‘one minute to midnight’ to stop climate disaster – but Xi Jinping will not even give ‘virtual’ speech after snub and Turkish President stays away
By James Tapsfield, Political Editor for MailOnline
Boris Johnson has told world leaders at the start of the COP26 summit that they can no longer afford to delay taking major action to address climate change as he warned ‘the longer we fail to act, the worse it gets’.
The Prime Minister compared the situation facing the globe to the climax of a James Bond film when the hero has to thwart plans to blow up the planet.
But Mr Johnson said ‘this is not a movie’ and the ‘doomsday device is real’ as he urged his counterparts to do more to reduce harmful emissions.
The premier said the longer countries wait to take action then ‘the higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act’.
He said the world has ‘long since run the clock down on climate change’ and there is now just ‘one minute to midnight’, with action required immediately to save the planet.
The PM used his speech as a rallying cry to try to build momentum as he welcomed foreign leaders to Glasgow after securing only lukewarm commitments at the G20 summit in Rome over the weekend.
However, hopes for the UN event have suffered fresh setbacks, as it emerged that China’s president Xi Jinping will not even give a ‘virtual’ speech, instead only submitting a written statement.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan also announced he will not be coming, despite attending the G20. Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, both in charge of big polluters, have declined to attend.
Meanwhile, the organisation of the conference has come under fire after thousands of delegates were forced to wait hours to get through shambolic security systems this morning.
Mr Johnson pledged in his speech to put another billion pounds into green finance – as long as the UK economy performs as expected in the coming years.
The PM repeated he wants global leaders to unveil steps on ‘coal, cars, cash and trees’ – the things he believes will make the most different in limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.
Mr Johnson had set the tone as the G20 wrapped up last night by reading the riot act to his fellow world leaders, saying their promises on tackling climate change are starting to ‘sound hollow’.
The PM said there are ‘no compelling excuses for our procrastination’ on reducing harmful emissions and action already taken amounts to ‘drops in a rapidly warming ocean’.
The premier said the longer countries wait to take action then ‘the higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act’. Mr Johnson is pictured welcoming Joe Biden to the summit today
World leaders including the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel convened in the main summit hall at lunchtime to hear Mr Johnson deliver the opening address
Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland, was among those leaders in the audience listening to the Prime Minister
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are pictured arriving for the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow
Prince Charles is pictured in discussion with billionaire Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez in Scotland on Monday morning
French president Emmanuel Macron gestures to the Prime Minister as they chat on Monday morning as the climate change summit kicks off
Mr Johnson (left) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (right) greet India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26
Mr Johnson and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres chatted to Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir as she made her appearance at the venue in Glasgow
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (right) and Boris Johnson (left) welcomed Palestine’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh as he arrived at COP26 today
Mr Johnson greets Comoros’ President Azali Assoumani, left, and St Lucia’s Prime Minister Philip Joseph Pierre, right
What are the key aims at COP26?
- Secure commitments on cutting emissions by 2030 and reaching Net Zero as close to 2050 as possible.
- Keep alive hopes of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.
- Phase out unabated coal power stations, drum up investment in renewable energy.
- Strike deals on reducing deforestation.
- Rack up $100billion in climate finance pledges.
- Finalise rules to implement the Paris Agreement.
The warnings came as:
Mr Johnson welcomed world leaders to Scotland by telling them that the country’s most famous fictional son is James Bond.
The PM said the fictional hero ‘generally comes to the climax of his highly lucrative films strapped to a doomsday device, desperately trying to work out which coloured wire to pull to turn it off while a red digital clock ticks down remorselessly to a detonation that will end human life as we know it’.
He said: ‘And we are in roughly the same position, my fellow global leaders, as James Bond today. Except that the tragedy is this is not a movie and the doomsday device is real.
‘And the clock is ticking to the furious rhythm of hundreds of billions of pistons and turbines and furnaces and engines with which we are pumping carbon into the air faster and faster, record outputs quilting the Earth in an invisible and suffocating blanket of CO2, raising the temperature of the pkanet with a speed and an abruptness that is entirely man made.
‘We know what the scientists tell us and we have learned not to ignore them. Two degrees more and we jeopardise the food supply for hundreds of millions of people as crops wither, locusts swarm.
‘Three degrees and you can add more wildfires and cyclones, twice as many, five times as many droughts and 36 times as many heat waves.
‘Four degrees and we say goodbye to whole cities – Miami, Alexandria, Shanghai – all lost beneath the waves.
‘And the longer we fail to act, the worse it gets and he higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act because humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change. It is one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock and we need to act now.’
In a round of interviews this morning, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK is ‘putting a lot of pressure’ on Mr Putin and President Xi regardless of their absence.
She told BBC Breakfast: ‘Both of those leaders are sending senior delegations to Glasgow so there will be representation in person here in Glasgow.
‘The Prime Minister has spoken to both Vladimir Putin and President Xi, we’re putting a lot of pressure on those countries.
‘Because in order to tackle climate change it needs to be global action and those countries are high emitters of carbon dioxide.’
Ms Truss also defended the huge carbon toll of world leaders – including US president Joe Biden – flying to Glasgow to talk in person.
‘I think everybody who has ever done a Zoom call knows that they are quite useful for some things but when you really get into crunch negotiations, when you want to look somebody in the eye and talk to them face-to-face you do need to meet in person, and this is really critical,’ she said.
‘World leaders are going to have to make some tough decisions about what’s going on in their own countries, they’re going to have to commit to things they didn’t necessarily want to when they arrived at the conference and that’s why it’s really important that we do have people face-to-face.’
However, the praise of face-to-face engagement rang a little hollow for many attempting to get into the summit veune this morning.
Delegates have already needed to go through a detailed accreditation process, including getting an official letter stating they are registered and using an app to verify their visual ID.
They must also present evidence of a negative Covid lateral flow test taken today.
But those arriving at the SEC today were confronted with enormous queues at various layers of security – starting with the gates checking letters, then security screening, and then to pick up accreditation passes in person.
There was a particular bottleneck at security, as delegates who had collected accreditation yesterday were forced to wait in huge lines along with new arrivals.
Many found themselves held up for well over 90 minutes – with complaints that meetings were being missed and anger at the shambolic organisation.
Mr Johnson greets Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba during arrivals at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow,
Mr Johnson welcomes Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Jansa at the COP26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow
The PM has been welcoming foreign premiers to the gathering in Glasgow alongside the UN Secretary General as he desperately tries to get momentum – after securing only lukewarm commitments at the G20 summit in Rome over the weekend
Boris Johnson greets Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari as they arrive for day two of COP26 at SECC in Glasgow this morning
Boris Johnson will warn world leaders that humanity has ‘run down the clock’ on climate change and must get serious about action in his speech to the COP26 summit
It comes on top of travel chaos yesterday with trains cancelled from London due to Halloween storms. Meanwhile, Glasgow is embarrassingly in the throes of a bin collection strike and there are reports of a surge in the rat population.
Mr Johnson is expected to say later: ‘Humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change.
‘It’s one minute to midnight and we need to act now.
‘If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow.’
He will add: ‘We have to move from talk and debate and discussion to concerted, real-world action on coal, cars, cash and trees.
‘Not more hopes and targets and aspirations, valuable though they are, but clear commitments and concrete timetables for change.
‘We need to get real about climate change and the world needs to know when that’s going to happen.’
The PM will be backed by Prince Charles, who will also speak at the opening, telling leaders: ‘We have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing.’
He will go on to urge nations to systematically engage with business to solve the climate problems we face, adding: ‘We need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector, with trillions at its disposal.’
Many leaders were travelling from the G20 summit in Rome. These countries are responsible for an estimated 80 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Johnson had hoped for a ‘G20 bounce’ as a stepping stone to a deal in Glasgow.
But leaders rejected his call to commit to going carbon neutral by 2050. A bid to ban the construction of new coal-fired power stations was also blocked.
Speaking at the G20 summit in Rome, the PM said that only 12 of the club’s members have committed to reaching a target of net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.
Dramatically raising the stakes, he said that if the forthcoming gathering in Glasgow fails to secure a major breakthrough ‘then the whole thing fails’.
Mr Johnson said world leaders must now flesh out the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, warning that failing to do so will leave ‘the world’s only viable mechanism for dealing with climate change… holed beneath the water line’.
The president of the United States Joe Biden arrives at Edinburgh Airport on Air Force One ahead of the climate change summit
President Joe Biden’s car, commonly known as ‘the Beast’, drives along the M8 motorway near Salsburgh on its way to the summit
A huge helicopter today shadowed the presidential motorcade on the way to Glasgow on Monday morning
Glasgow Airport arrivals for the COP26 sees the Germans onboard an Airbus with Chancellor Angela Merkel taking the lead
The German delegation leaves Glasgow airport on Monday morning in a motorcade lead by police and a Range Rover
A huge Boeing 777 brings the Indian Delegation to Scotland’s Glasgow Airport as day two of the UN conference gets underway
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in arrives for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow on Monday morning
The premier escalated his rhetoric amid fears the summit in Glasgow will be a flop after the G20 watered down its Net Zero ambition to ‘by or around mid-century’.
The PM has been trying to use the Rome summit of powerful nations including China and Russia to build momentum ahead of COP26, which formally got underway this afternoon and will see world leaders meet for talks tomorrow.
But although the communique from the G20 backed urgent action, it gave more wriggle-room for emissions to continue, with an original goal of ‘2050’ replaced by looser language.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the G20 summit had not gone far enough in advancing climate goals but he still believed in the leaders heading to Scotland.
‘While I welcome the G20’s recommitment to global solutions, I leave Rome with my hopes unfulfilled – but at least they are not buried,’ he said.
More than 120 leaders are expected to attend today’s summit in Glasgow, which kicks off a fortnight of intense negotiations designed to secure a global deal on cutting emissions.
Mr Biden and Indian PM Narendra Modi are among the major figures due to take part.
But, in a sign of the global divisions on the issue, the leaders of several major polluting nations have turned down invitations.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday publicly rejected Mr Johnson’s bid to get the entire world to commit to becoming ‘carbon neutral’ by 2050.
Mr Johnson has already admitted that he was stonewalled by China’s Xi Jinping in a call when he suggested the giant economy should aim for carbon output to peak by 2025 instead of 2030.
Speaking at the G20 summit, Mr Lavrov said Moscow was targeting a 2060 date, adding: ‘No one has proved to us that 2050 is something we must all subscribe to.’
China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is also resisting pressure to go carbon neutral before 2060, with president Xi rebutting a personal plea from Mr Johnson last week.
And a hoped-for deal to phase out the construction of new coal-fired power stations by 2030 fell apart. Major coal users including China, India, Australia and Russia are said to have blocked the deal.
Asked about the chances of success at Cop26 last night, the PM said: ‘I think it’s sort of six out of ten. It’s a bit of nip and tuck and touch and go. We could do it or we could fail by the middle of November.’
Delegates queue to get into the summit in Glasgow today. Storms caused travel chaos for thousands yesterday
The summit was again blighted by organisational chaos as world leaders arrived, with huge queues for delegates to get in
Meanwhile, the start of COP26 has been disrupted by storms in the UK that have blocked train services north from London – leaving thousands of delegates unable to make it to Glasgow.
In interviews over the weekend, COP26 President Alok Sharma dampened hopes of a significant breakthrough at the summit by saying it is going to be ‘really, really tough’ for world leaders to strike a deal.
Mr Sharma said there are now two weeks to get an agreement ‘over the line’ as thousands of delegates from across the globe arrive in Glasgow for the gathering.
The UN summit is aiming to persuade countries around the world to agree action to restrict global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees.
Mr Sharma has urged world leaders to ‘leave the ghosts of the past’ behind them as he said ‘they have to deliver’ on the promises they have made to cut harmful emissions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Xi are both snubbing the COP26 summit by not attending in person – although they will contribute virtually.
Addressing reporters in Rome this afternoon, Mr Johnson said that after ‘hundreds of summits, speeches, press conferences’ the promises made by world leaders are ‘starting to sound, frankly, hollow’.
He said: ‘The science is clear that we need to act now to halve emissions by 2030 and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
‘There are no compelling excuses for our procrastination. Not only have we acknowledged the problem we are already seeing first hand the devastation climate change causes, from heat waves and droughts to wild fires and hurricanes.
‘Unlike many other global challenges, the solution to climate change is clear, it lies in consigning dirty fossil fuels like coal to history, ditching gas guzzling modes of transport and recognising the role that nature plays in preserving life on this planet.
‘And harnessing the power of nature through renewable energy rather than orchestrating its destruction.
‘If we don’t act now, the Paris Agreement will be looked at in the future not as the moment that humanity opened its eyes to the problem but the moment we flinched and turned away.’
Mr Johnson listed a number of promises made by nations to address climate change but said none of them went far enough.
‘These commitments, welcome as they are, are drops in a rapidly warming ocean when we consider the challenge we have all admitted is ahead of us,’ he said.
Delegates, campaigners and journalists travelling by train to the Glasgow climate conference fell victim to a weather chaos today after a fallen tree on a railway line. Pictured: London Euston is exit only due to overcrowding and suspended services
‘Just 12 G20 members have committed to reach net zero by 2050 or earlier. Barely half of us have submitted improved plans for how we will cut carbon emissions since the Paris summit in 2015.
‘We have also failed to meet our commitments to provide $100billion a year to support development countries to grow in a clean and sustainable way.
‘The UN says emissions will rise by 15 per cent by 2030 and they need to halve by then. The countries most responsible for historic and present day emissions are not yet doing their fair share of the work.
‘If we are going to prevent COP26 from being a failure then that must change. And I must be clear that if Glasgow fails then the whole thing fails.
‘The Paris Agreement will have crumpled at the first reckoning. The world’s only viable mechanism for dealing with climate change will be holed beneath the water line.’
Leaders at the G20 agreed on carbon neutrality ‘by or around mid-century’ as the conference came to a close just ahead of COP.
Politicians attending the event in Rome also pledged to end public financing for coal-fired power generation abroad.
But they set no target for phasing out domestic coal.
According to the final communique from the summit, the G20 reaffirmed past commitments by rich countries to provide 100 billion US dollars annually to help poorer countries cope with climate change.
Leaders agreed to ‘put an end to the provision of international public finance for new unabated coal power generation abroad by the end of 2021’.
G20 leaders said they will ‘accelerate our actions across mitigation, adaptation and finance, acknowledging the key relevance of achieving global net zero greenhouse gas emissions or carbon neutrality by or around mid-century’.
Downing Street said COP26 will be one of the biggest events the UK has ever hosted, with 25,000 delegates expected from 196 countries and the European Union.
Ministers, climate negotiators, civil society and business leaders are set to take part in talks and debates over the course of the two-week conference.
Mr Johnson said last week it will be ‘touch and go’ if the gathering will be a success having previously been bullish on the chances of a breakthrough.
He replied: ‘As you said in your introduction, my job is effectively to act as shepherd in chief. This is on leaders.
‘It was leaders who made the commitment in Paris. It is leaders of the biggest economies meeting now at the G20 and they need to come forward and collectively we need to agree how we are going to address this gap.’
Mr Sharma said he expected COP26 to be ‘in many ways tougher than Paris’ because the 2015 pact was a ‘framework agreement’ and ‘some of the most difficult rules are still outstanding after six years’.
‘That makes it really challenging and, of course, we know that the geopolitics is more difficult than it was at the time of Paris,’ he said.
He said: ‘We need as many people as possible to agree go to net zero so that they are not producing too much carbon dioxide by the middle of the century.
‘Now, I think it can be done. It’s going to be very, very tough, this summit.
‘And I’m very worried, because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need. It’s touch and go.’
Mr Johnson said in comments released last night that he hopes world leaders will arrive in Glasgow ready to agree ‘decisive action’.
He said: ‘Cop26 will be the world’s moment of truth. The question everyone is asking is whether we seize this moment or let it slip away.
‘I hope world leaders will hear them and come to Glasgow ready to answer them with decisive action.
‘Together, we can mark the beginning of the end of climate change – and end the uncertainty once and for all.’
It was claimed earlier this month that Mr Sharma was angry at Mr Johnson for building up expectations ahead of the summit amid Cabinet fears it will be a ‘damp squib’.
Mr Sharma was said to be ‘raging’ at the PM for ‘ramping up’ hopes of a breakthrough in Glasgow.
Some ministers believe the Government’s messaging ahead of the summit has been too bullish and is ‘completely out of control’. Allies of Mr Sharma denied that he was angry with the PM.
The Cop26 summit is a successor to the 2015 Paris Summit, when leaders agreed to limit the global increase in temperatures to below 1.5 degrees centigrade by the end of the century.
Last month, Mr Johnson published a controversial £1trillion plan to meet the ‘net zero’ commitments, including a ban on gas boilers and a switch to electric vehicles.
But yesterday he said ‘barely half’ of G20 countries have so far said how they will meet the commitment they made in Paris in 2015. The summit is due to last for a fortnight, with world leaders attending for the first two days.
What a load of hot air! Joe Biden is blasted for making 10,000 mile return trip that’ll generate 2.2 MILLION pounds of carbon to attend CLIMATE CHANGE summit in Scotland after president was snapped in gas-guzzling 85-car motorcade in Rome
By Ronny Reyes for Dailymail.com
President Joe Biden will generate an estimated 2.2 million pounds of carbon during his trip to Europe to speak on the perils of climate change.
The gigantic carbon footprint is comprised of 2.16 million pounds of carbon dioxide generated by the four large planes that comprise his airborne entourage on the trip to Italy and Scotland, where the president will speak at the COP26 summit on change in Glasgow, with the remainder emitted by Biden’s cars.
His fleet is comprised of the heavily modified Boeing 747 he travels on, known as Air Force One when the president is on board, an identical decoy, and two huge C-17 Globemaster planes to carry his battalion of cars and helicopters.
Those jets each belch out an average of 54 pounds of carbon per mile flown. An average American would generate 0.365 pounds of carbon for if they flew a similar distance – just under 10,000 miles – on a regular scheduled flight.
Biden’s Cadillac ‘Beast,’ a 20,000 pound armored limousine that only gets around 8 mpg, was surrounded by dozens of slow moving cars as he pulled into the courtyard of the Vatican for his meeting with Pope Francis on Friday. It generates an estimated 8.75 pounds of carbon per mile driven – 10 times more than the average car, with two Beasts – the official vehicle and a decoy – forming part of his entourage.
The motorcade was 85-cars long, due to Italian COVID-19 rules, which only allow three non-cohabiting people – including the driver – per vehicle. As well as the Beast, it was comprised of gas-guzzling Chevrolet Suburban SUVs, and famously thirsty Alfa Romeo cars driven by Italian police. It would have generated around 73.5 pounds of carbon per mile driven.
The trip from Villa Taverna to Vatican City is 4.34 miles long, meaning the total amount of carbon generated by the Beast and its entourage was 373 pounds for that short visit to see Pope Francis where, ironically, the president and leader of the Catholic Church discussed climate change. Biden has been criticized for the largesse on social media, although the White House insists there is no other alternative to ensure the president is safe from any potential threat while traveling,
President Joe Biden used a massive 85-car motorcade to wind through the streets of Rome on Friday for his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican
The motorcade was centered around The Beast, the president’s armored limousine that gets as much as 8 mpg, but was also comprised of gas guzzling Chevy Suburban SUVs and Alfa Romeo police cars
Biden arrived in Rome, accompanied with wife Jill Biden, on Thursday aboard Air Force One, with the jet generating an estimated 54,000 pounds of carbon during the 10,000-mile long weekend trip
President Biden and the first lady are snapped boarding Marine One at Joint Base Andrews on Thursday
After Biden arrived in Rome on Thursday aboard Air Force One, his team arrived in Scotland on Friday, and separate military jets were used to haul in The Beast and the president’s Marine One helicopter, along with scores of security personnel.
The Beast and Air Force One have long been criticised by some Americans of not being ‘green enough,’ with the later costing more than $200,000 an hour to operate, Business Insider reported.
The Air Force One jets, which went into service in 1990, are due to be replaced by two greener new replacements in 2024, but they’ll still represent an extremely environmentally-unfriendly means of travel.
The Beast itself weighs around 20,000 pounds, sports a 5-litre diesel engine and gets about 8 mpg.
The Beast, pictured, above, runs on a 5-litre diesel engine and gets about 8 mpg
It costs more than $200,000 an hour to fly and operate Air Force One
The president made use of the Marine One helicopter on his trip to Europe
A Boeing C-17A Globemaster III based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Orange County, New York, with number 60005 at Glasgow Airport this week. The aircraft was carrying a helicopter which will be called Marine One when used by the President
Many were quick to point out the hypocrisy as Biden, a vocal advocate for preventing climate change, touts such a gas-guzzling entourage of vehicles during a trip primarily scheduled for a climate chance conference.
‘Climate change and worries while jetting setting around the globe. Carbon footprint, you say! Hypocrite,’ wrote a Twitter user with the handle name Yellowstoneave.
Another Twitter user with name Snowwhite wrote, ‘Joe Biden arrives at the Vatican City on Airforce One followed by gas guzzling Chevrolets & outriders. What climate change emergency?’
A Twitter user with the handle Hil..n also called Biden a hypocrite.
‘Jump on ur helicopter then onto ur jumbo jet and lecture us about climate change.’
Many were quick to criticize the presidents use of a motorcade and Air Force One ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference
Biden has fled tanking approval ratings at home and partisan in-fighting over his $1.75trillon spending bill to travel to Rome, where he is set to meet with leaders from the G20 group of wealthy nations for a two-day summit.
It is the first face-to-face summit of the G20 since COVID struck, and Biden will be hoping to use it to repair his international reputation following his chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan that frustrated his allies and drew unfavorable comparisons with predecessor Donald Trump.
It also comes just two days ahead of the start of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow that will be hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.