That didn't take long. It's less than four hours since America's septuagenarian president landed in Scotland and already he appears to have fallen asleep at the summit. Joe Biden was spotted shutting his eyes during one of the many, many speeches this afternoon, not opening them again until an awkward apparatchik ran over to disturb him. In fairness to the aged Democrat, sleep might have seemed like the most diplomatic option when faced with Brian Cox, David Attenborough and Prince Charles producing various outpourings of hot air in their efforts to curb global warming.
Still, at least Biden's COP is still going better than Justin Welby's. The Archbishop of Canterbury today told the BBC that leaders will be ‘cursed’ if they don’t reach an agreement in the next fortnight, suggesting to Laura Kuenssberg that a failure to act would be possibly more grave than ignoring warnings about the Nazis in the 1930s. Has the head of the Anglican church been reading too much Harry Potter on his sabbatical? Mr S has no doubt that Xi Jinping is shaking in his Beijing boots right now. Less than two hours later and the former oilman has already been forced to apologise...
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) November 1, 2021
I unequivocally apologise for the words I used when trying to emphasise the gravity of the situation facing us at COP26. It's never right to make comparisons with the atrocities brought by the Nazis, and I'm sorry for the offence caused to Jews by these words. https://t.co/T0Be5rpnc1
Adding to the 'end of the world' vibe is Stockholm's striking schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, who rocked up in Glasgow after publicly snubbing an invite to attend the official jamboree. Thunberg instead preferred to address a gathering of whooping eco-activists outside the venue, declaring it was time for 'no more blah blah blah' and 'no more whatever the fuck they’re doing in there,' turning the air blue in her bid to make the planet green.
— James Matthews (@jamesmatthewsky) November 1, 2021
Added to all this are the ongoing queues in which disgruntled delegates have been forced to stand outside the conference zone. Ambassadors were among the visitors held up in the rain for three hours, with attendees told to come for 8:00 a.m registration, which did not in fact open until 11:30 a.m. One muttered to Mr S: 'it's like Glastonbury without the mud' with the official summit Twitter page begging the 25,000 attendees who have jetted in to Glasgow to now consider attending online where possible.
— COP26 (@COP26) November 1, 2021
ℹ️ UPDATE: There is currently a high level of attendance at the #COP26 venue.In order to comply with COVID-19 measures, we encourage you to only visit the Blue Zone for as long as necessary and consider making use of the COP Platform where possible.🔗 https://t.co/JJ6VfSd3zf
If Boris, Alok, Nicola and the rest can't even host a summit properly, how exactly do they intend to save the world?