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Cop26 summit ‘is mismanaged’: Sponsors of climate change conference condemn it as ‘very last minute’

Cop26 summit ‘is mismanaged’: Sponsors of climate change conference condemn it as ‘very last minute’… and blame ‘inexperienced’ civil servants for the issues

  • Companies spending millions sponsoring the Cop26 climate summit have condemned the event as ‘mismanaged’ and very ‘last minute’
  • The backers include some of Britain’s biggest firms and have formally complained ahead of next month’s meeting
  • Organisers had promised an ‘outstanding opportunity’ and ‘unique benefits’ in exchange for the support 


Companies that have spent millions sponsoring the Cop26 climate summit have condemned the event as ‘mismanaged’ and ‘very last minute’.

The backers, which include some of Britain’s biggest firms, have formally complained ahead of next month’s meeting, blaming ‘very inexperienced’ civil servants for problems.

They say decisions have been delayed, there have been poor communications and a breakdown in relations with organisers.

The summit is to take place in Glasgow’s SSE Hydro venue rom October 31 to November 12

One source, employed by a Cop26 sponsor, said ‘the biggest frustration’ was the lack of information about how the event will run.

Organisers had promised sponsors an ‘outstanding opportunity’ and ‘unique benefits’ in exchange for their support.

But firms including Sky, NatWest and Microsoft have signed a letter, sent to those in charge, raising concerns, The Guardian reported.

Leaders will meet in Glasgow to try to ensure countries meet their climate ambitions. But there are concerns the world’s biggest emitter, China, will not attend.

A Cop source said: ‘The majority of corporate sponsors, who are receiving unprecedented access to this event, tell us they are delighted with the support.’

Former business secretary Alok Sharma is president of Cop26, pictured at UNESCO headquarters in Paris last week

Former business secretary Alok Sharma is president of Cop26, pictured at UNESCO headquarters in Paris last week

Former business secretary Alok Sharma is the Cop26 president and the businessman Nigel Topping is the Government’s high-level climate action champion.

Sponsorship is expected to help defray a policing bill estimated to reach up to £250million.

The Glasgow summit is considered the last chance to put the world on track to meet its climate ambitions.

They will take place in early November after the event was postponed by a year because of the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020.

unity’ and ‘unique benefits’ in exchange for their support.

Firms were offered the chance to promote their brands at the conference ‘green zone’ exhibition space and the participation of government ministers at their events.

Street artists paint a mural on a wall opposite the Cop26 climate summit venue in Glasgow

Street artists paint a mural on a wall opposite the Cop26 climate summit venue in Glasgow

But the paper reported that there have been a series of complaints to the organisers about delays to the green zone plans.

They have also raised complaints that ministers have not always been available for their events in the run-up to Cop26, as agreed as part of the sponsor deals.

Other sources have described the ‘shifting goal posts’ and ‘inertia’ plaguing the Cop26 planning as ‘deeply frustrating’.

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