A hand map depicting the location of Glasgow; where you’ll find global climate change conference COP26, and Edinburgh; where there is not. Image: Google Maps / @stucoates
World leaders, activists and scientists are arriving – or are trying to overcome serious delays on the railways – in Glasgow, Scotland, for the monumentally important climate conference that is COP26. But some seem to be a little confused.
The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (known as, yes, COP26) was originally scheduled for November 2020. With the reschedule, attendees should have had a lot of time to prepare and plan.
Yet some may have skipped brushing up on their geography of Scotland, with some pretty high-profile journalists confusing the COP26 host city with another one, just 47 miles down the road.
Many were perplexed about what CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer was doing in what is very recognisably, Edinburgh, not Glasgow.
“I’m now reporting from Edinburgh in Scotland where 20,000 world leaders and delegates have gathered for the COP26 Climate Summit,” he announced excitedly to his 1.7 million twitter followers.
“COP, by the way, stands for ‘Conference of the Parties.’ It’s the 26th time they have gathered to discuss and take action on this critical issue,” he continued, demonstrating he had done his homework.
But of course Twitter was on hand to pool their insight and knowledge on Scottish geography, with user @stucoates replying with a map, handily illustrated with large red arrows pointing to Edinburgh in the east, and Glasgow to the west.
Though it seemed unclear whether Blitzer was aware that he was in a different city to the climate change conference, or whether he made an editorial decision that Edinburgh’s impressive castle would be a more aesthetically pleasing backdrop.
And of course it was an opportunity for corporate Twitter to show that they, too, know how to crack a joke at someone else’s expense.
“Should’ve gone to Glasgow,” tweeted high street opticians Specsavers, continuing to milk a joke that’s been running for over twenty years.
Reuters’ White House correspondent Jeff Mason was on hand to report on US President Joe Biden‘s arrival – very exciting given that his attendance was only confirmed two weeks ago.
“Arrived in Glasgow,” he tweeted, alongside a photo of US President Biden stepping out from the Air Force One plane at Edinburgh airport.
“You’re about 47 miles from Glasgow Jeff” replied one helpful Twitter user, with Edinburgh airport offering a friendly welcome to Scotland’s historic capital.
“Jeff, you have no idea what you’ve done… Welcome to Edinburgh, and Scotland!” the official account of Edinburgh Airport cheerily replied.
President Biden and others arriving at Edinburgh airport will then have to travel to Glasgow – over an hour by car or around 45 minutes by train. The second being a viable option after strike action which threatened to cripple rail services across Scotland during COP26 was called off just in time.
There were also complaints about the pronunciation of Glasgow, as reporters from around the world discuss the city and length.
“Dear American and other friends -it’s pronounced Glas-go not glasgow. Watching everyone get it wrong on US news channels is painful.” wrote journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, in a tweet that reads as helpfully as “It’s leviOsa, not levioSA!” for any for anyone not acquainted with the Glaswegian dialect.
Stay tuned for essential reporting on the ground from our environmental reporter Sarah Wilson who is, handily, in Glasgow.
While you’re here…
The Big Issue has co-launched a new fund that invests ONLY in companies working to solve the climate crisis and help to create a cleaner, more sustainable world. The focus is on what can be done NOW for future generations.
In partnership with Aberdeen Standard Investments, the Multi-Asset Climate Solutions (MACS) Fund actively scours the globe for companies that get at least half of their revenue from climate change solutions and other key environmental challenges. Currently, less than five per cent of the world’s companies fit the bill.
From renewable energy and green buildings to electric vehicles and remote working technologies, the fund invests in companies that are enabling the transition to a low carbon economy.
A Climate Advisory Group that includes Nigel Kershaw, Chair of The Big Issue Group, as well as respected environmental, policy and finance experts and climate activists has been established to make sure the fund does what it is supposed to do. It is proof that the fund is not a tokenistic step.
20 per cent of the net revenue goes back into The Big Issue to support its social mission.
When most people think about the Big Issue, they think of vendors selling the Big Issue magazines on the streets – and we are immensely proud of this. In 2022 alone, we worked with 10% more vendors and these vendors earned £3.76 million in collective income. There is much more to the work we do at the Big Issue Group, our mission is to create innovative solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunity for the 14million people in the UK living in poverty.