British Government Fires “Last Chance” COP26 Climate Conference Manager

Richard Sutcliffe / Entrance to the SEC Centre, home of the COP26 Climate Conference 2020

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to outgoing COP26 conference manager Claire Perry O’Neill, “Whitehall “can’t cope” with an Indy cop unit.”.

Climate change: UK sacks its UN conference president

By David Shukman Science editor

1 February 2020

In a surprise move, the woman appointed to run the crucial UN climate summit in Glasgow in November has been sacked.

Claire Perry O’Neill, a former climate minister, had been assigned the post of “president” of the event, known as COP 26.

The British government has confirmed that the job will now be handled by the business department, Beis.

In a tweet, Mrs O’Neill said she was “very sad” to lose the role, and went on to criticise the government.

It couldn’t “cope” with an independent unit managing preparations for the conference, she said.

And in a sharp dig at No 10’s green credentials, she also added: “A shame we haven’t had one climate cabinet meeting since we formed.”

In response, a Cabinet Office statement said the prime minister thanked Mrs O’Neill for her work so far.

“Preparations will continue at pace for the summit, and a replacement will be confirmed shortly,” it said.

“Going forward, this will be a ministerial role.”

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51334031

The BBC story goes on to discuss alleged disarray and infighting over the COP26 conference, scheduled to occur in Glasgow in November this year, with British government ministers fighting behind closed doors for control of the conference.

What a shame. Claire’s uncompromising green fanaticism promised to make her a thoroughly entertaining COP chair, like putting an older version of Greta Thunberg in charge. She had already made a good start with a traditional “last chance” announcement. I had high hopes for lots more fun as the year progressed.

Now the British Government will probably pass the job of managing the conference over to someone boring.

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74 thoughts on “British Government Fires “Last Chance” COP26 Climate Conference Manager

    • “Can anyone offer a better response than just “Good.”?”

      Sure. Here’s mine:

      It’s a fair COP.

    • I spent several months at the University of Liverpool last summer and fall. The complete and utter climate groupthink of the students/faculty, who were from all over the UK, Ireland, and even the Continent, was stunning. As lone Yank in the course I was attending, I mostly kept my political and cultural comments to myself, trying to be a good guest in a foreign country. Just once, I commented in an aside to others in a seminar setting that I did not sign on to the catastrophic version of ongoing climate change. The others in the room were so stunned…..as if in 12th century England I had declared out loud that perhaps Jesus, though a good man, was just a man and not “the son of God”. Sheer heresy. They thought I was playing with them; I could not be for real. It seemed amazing to them, for I had had a couple of months of pretty high level academic work with these people, so they could not write me off as an ignorant Flat-Earther or the like.

      I kept my opinions to myself thereafter. In the US, I speak openly…but in the US I am not a guest.

      The Johnson government must walk a very careful line between this groupthink on climate change and the actual needs of the British economy….and any who would replace Johnson are green extremists on the issue. Amazing that this great country which produced George Orwell could be so unconscious of their own groupthink.

      • Kwinterkorn
        I intensely dislike Johnson personally and I think his behaviour in pushing through Brexit by proroguing Parliament by Royal Decree then getting round the Fixed Term Parliaments Act by some device which I still don’t understand was devious to say the least, whatever your position on the substantive issues. But I agree he is the best hope that common sense will eventually prevail on the climate issue.
        However, this is still a slim hope. It is hard to be sure what Johnson’s position is on this as he has to tread very carefully. Academia, the broadcast media and the school system are 100% in hock to the Groupthink as well as most of the press and he has taken over a position where Parliament has committed to fighting the “Climate Emergency” and the next COP is in this country.

  1. The thing that comes most immediately to mind is a loose cannon.

    ‘Doesn’t play nicely with others’ is the next.

    Running a government is hard enough without having to deal with unpredictable idiots within your own ranks. IMHO, the genius of Stephen Harper, former PM of Canada, is that he was able to bring the various loose cannons in the Reform Party to heel.

    • Ms. Claire Perry O’Neill, a former climate minister, knows that she is irreplaceable. She managed climate so well. Oceans are not boiling. Long live!

  2. That is an intelligent and good step in the ‘right’ direction from Boris .
    Hope it continues .

    • And they should have it on Ellesmere Island, in November; with wind and solar providing the electricity.

      Greta can sail to Churchill, Manitoba; then go by dog sled to Ellesmere.

      • NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT.
        All COPs from now forward MUST be powered by 100% green energy NOT sourced by or through the Grid

    • relism?
      two damned lunatic pollies nominated that dropout for a Nobel peace prize!
      well ohbummer got it so we know its farcical but her?? OMG what a joke.

  3. What’s the big deal about COPs anyway? You’ve seen one COP you’ve seen ’em all. A bunch of oh so important UN bureaucrats get together with hordes of climate scientists and environmental activists preaching the end of the planet by fossil fuels and the urgent need to act, so urgent that failure of this COP will be the end of the world. And then everyone goes home to wait for the next one so they can play their oh so dramatic roles all over again.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/02/25/un/

    • A bunch? You mean a couple of 10’s of thousands at each conference getting there using fossil fuels.

      • Michael, as far as I know, the attendees salaries get paid by their various employers (government agencies, Universities, media, NGOs, etc. Presumably these same employers pay their airfares and accommodation as well. What a gravy train! And as the COPs are organised by the UN (nominally a ‘government’ body), why do they find it necessary to invite thousands of activists from hundreds of NGOs, all pushing only one side of the argument, but almost no one from the sceptical side? Does anyone have any further information on this global boondoggle?

        • It’s my understanding that the UN packs the COP meetings with African delegates. Crucially, Africans don’t have to meet their own expenses, and they are met by the UN (ie rich countries). If every country had to pay their own way, the numbers would be far fewer, a few thousand at best. They are talking about 30,000 for Glasgow. That represents a huge subsidy. There were 406 delegates from Guinea at the last but one COP.

    • Chaamjamal

      There are a couple of reason to have it. First, it is accomplishing something an unreformed UN has not which is to bring together political and social organisations from around the world and got them to agree on anything at all without appealing to some self-encircling group of “senior nations”. Yes it doesn’t look like much, but that is a signal achievement even if misguided as to its particular current purpose.

      The UN is not serving humanity as it should. It has no teeth and is rumoured to be pretty corrupt.

      Second, the COP meetings are democratic enough that group a of countries headed by Brazil are pointing out they have been getting screwed by the unfair way the carbon trading system was setup under the Kyoto Protocol. There are two seriously divergent camps you have never heard about in the press duking it out – that’s why the talks “failed” in Madrid. The poor countries are stonewalling the rich over the rules and apportionment of these putative billions that will arise from carbon trading. In short, poor countries have power in the COP they do not have at all in the UN.

      Third, the concept of rich countries having to make supporting financial payments to bring more development to poor countries is very reasonable and cannot be legitimately batted away by saying “they are corrupt”. Sure they are, but look at the US, or France, or Greece. Corruption isn’t ended by keeping people poor. It is ended by a carrot and stick approach and an international criminal Court.

      Fourth, what all we need to happen at the COP meetings is for the climate nonsense to be replaced with real science and real discussions of development and it will make it into a decent international parliament to start treating humanity as if they live in a common homeland, planet earth, which they do. On that score the US like many countries, has something to learn which there is no “island America” anymore.

      And fifth, to bring war to a permanent stop we need an international body that is capable of creating a “club” which will protect is members from external hostility – a sort of NATO for everyone. Everyone at the COP meetings agrees at least on the point that mutual support for international scale problems is the only viable path. The fact that COP meetings are a massive waste of time and money should not drown out the real demonstration that a properly formulated UN-replacement could and would work for everyone, not just a few powerful interests.

      So look at the structure, the experienced gained, and consider that looking forward, we need just these sorts of events to address real and emergent problems, long term, and it begins by demonstrating how things could work in principle.

      The spectacular international response to the carona virus flu is the result of a functioning international health body headed by an Ethiopian with the good of humanity at heart. Not just a few countries and their friends. This is something new. We need more if it and less alarmist nonsense about tipping points. Right structure, wrong topic. It can be improved. The UN seems not to be willing to grasp that nettle. If it doesn’t reform, let it wither. The USA could lead the new initiative, and probably will if it gets its own house in order. It is an interesting republic and successfully brought into alignment a number if “states”.

      • Hello Crispin in Waterloo

        Thank you for this very detailed response. I will have to read it again at least once so that my response is worthy of the work that went into this detailed analysis.

      • My case against the UN is that public sector organizations without accountability, discipline, and oversight serve themselves and not the public however noble or important their intended purpose.

      • It [The UN] has no teeth and is rumoured to be pretty corrupt.

        The later part of that sentence (pretty corrupt) is reason to be thankful for the former part (has no teeth). Just saying.

      • First, it is accomplishing something an unreformed UN has not which is to bring together political and social organisations from around the world and got them to agree on anything at all without appealing to some self-encircling group of “senior nations”.

        Not so hard to do, when all your invitees start off singing from the same hymn sheet. Have them invite in some climate skeptical organizations to participate and then see how well they “bring together political and social organisations (sic) from around the world”

        Fourth, what all we need to happen at the COP meetings is for the climate nonsense to be replaced with real science and real discussions of development

        never going to happen (you’d have to invite in groups with a different point of view first). It’s a dog and pony show. that’s all it’s ever been. You are seeing something in it that it’s never been, has no desire to be, and thus never will be.

      • Crispin in Waterloo:
        I’ve read your comment and appreciate the thought put into it. A few comments:

        “First”: I do agree that “the UN is not serving humanity as it should”.

        ‘Second”: I think that the “billions” would be “trillions” and many trillions at that if carbon trading became a world-wide fact.

        “Third”: “rich countries having to make supporting financial payments”. Rich countries already provide billions, if not trillions, of foreign aid. A long time ago, the USA was “made” (forced) to transfer wealth and we strenuously objected to being “made”. Strenuously. So, not reasonable.

        “Fourth”: Certainly agree “for the climate nonsense to be replaced by real science”.

        “Fifth”: Bringing “war to a permanent stop” is a worthy goal. I’m not hopeful in the short-term. sadly.

        Next-to-last paragraph: Who could disagree!

        Last paragraph: I hope the response to the coronavirus does turn out to be “spectacular” and I’m optimistic. Responses to SARS, MERS, Ebola, and the various flu viruses have been “successful” if compared to what could have happened.

        Lastly: “It is an interesting republic and successfully brought into alignment a number (of) states.”
        Yes, we are interesting but you should know that considerable tension exists between the federal government and the states. The DOI and the Constitution does provide a framework for the states to cede SOME of their sovereignty to the federal government (but not ALL) to “form a more perfect union”. But, this tension has resulted in the federal government “making” the states heel on occasion, sometimes rightly (maybe mostly), but sometimes not so, when the federal government plays loose with the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

        The DOI and the Constitution put freedom and “rights” first and stated that they come from God (or Nature) and not from governments or men. (Does the UN put freedom and rights as not coming from men or governments?) Consequently, the DO and the Constitution are not compatible with Marxist socialism, communism or fascism. (Which is why some in the USA, including some elected politicians, want to change the Constitution and eliminate the Electoral College, the Second Amendment, and change provisions regarding taxes and wealth transfer.) And, some people in the USA fear freedom and wish to trade freedom (and rights) for “safety”, a point that was debated prior to the signing of the DOI. Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson both noted that when trading freedom for safety you got neither.

        Yes, we are an “interesting republic”, not perfect, capable of making mistakes (like all countries), sometimes huge mistakes, and capable of astounding accomplishments. We are young by world standards, really young, an infant really, sometimes rash in our thinking and sometimes incredibly insightful. Sometimes unpredictable. We do not have the history of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Central and South America, or Australia; but we are ALL or those! All combined to what John Adams called “the American Mind”.

        My apologies for expanding on your comment. As I said, I do pay attention to you, and others, who post and comment seriously.

      • Any solitary world government, by the nature of the humans who must staff it, would be inherently unstable. Without external stresses of at least one outside threatening polity, internal factionalism would rule and ultimately lead to schism. Perhaps if aliens were to threaten the Earth (not likely) humans would band together for a while.

        This is a good thing. A dominating world government would inevitably become complacent about its role, corrupt in its practices, and reactionary toward every effort at change. Eventually it would fall….a good thing, because then innovation, change, progress, etc could resume. There are no angels among humans, only somewhat evolved animals that predominantly pursue their self-interest, and only worry for the group when their personal interests are mostly taken care of.

        Utopia is not possible in the one world in which we live.

  4. “26” tells you all you need to know. It gets worse from year to year, not better. Only a few Western countries have made any strides in CO2 reduction and those that have are suffering from GDP reduction. For the most part no country, no country, none?, have reduced their CO2 output. The sooner we get rid of this charade the better.

    • Since Jan 2010, the US annual GDP growth has oscillated up and down around an average of +2%, without developing any long term (>3-year) trend [https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth ].

      Since Jan 2010, US net emissions of greenhouse gases (in absolute terms of metric tons of CO2-equivalent per year) have declined by about 2% net, with year-to-year oscillations both up and down. [https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07012020/infographic-united-states-emissions-2019-climate-change-greenhouse-gas-coal-transportation ].

      Therefore, over the last 10 years the US has reduced greenhouse gas emissions without suffering any noticeable impact on an average GDP growth rate.

  5. “David Shukman, science editor”. Anyone who has had the misfortune to hear one of his “science reports” knows that he is a grade A pillock who has swallowed the AGW nonsense whole, and regurgitates it constantly. While this is a good first step by the government, I worry that our Prime Minister might pay more than lip service to the whole farrago of nonsense that the COP 26 promises to be. He seems to be a little green at the edges.

    • When it suits him, he will flip like all of them to save his adz. He will say whatever he needs to say. I still think his PMship will be challenged soon. Not only is the UK full of climate crazies it’s full of pro-EU crazies in very influential positions. To h3ll with democracy we have seen Brexit take 3 national votes, and 2 PM’s.

  6. Expect more ‘mishaps’

    ‘I can’t stand this December heat, but it has nothing to do with global warming

    By Boris Johnson (Telegraph 2015)

    We may all be sweating in the winter air, but remember, we humans have always put ourselves at the centre of cosmic events

    It is fantastic news that the world has agreed to cut pollution and help people save money, but I am sure that those global leaders were driven by a primitive fear that the present ambient warm weather is somehow caused by humanity; and that fear – as far as I understand the science – is equally without foundation.

    There may be all kinds of reasons why I was sweating at ping-pong – but they don’t include global warming.

    • Excellent. From the article. The Johnson cabinet is denier central !

      ‘Following the election one of Boris Johnson’s first acts has been to appoint climate change sceptics to his cabinet.

      This is despite election claims that his government would take the unfolding climate disaster seriously.

      Monmouth MP David TC Davies has been made a minister in the Wales Office, and assistant government whip.

      Mr Davies has a long history of denying man-made climate change despite the overwhelming consensus of leading experts around world stating the opposite.
      ..
      Chris Heaton-Harris – Minister of state (Department for Transport)
      Mr Heaton-Harris has regularly voted against measures to tackle climate change. These have included voting not to reduce the permitted carbon dioxide emission rate of new homes and against a strategy for carbon capture and storage for the energy industry.

      He has also previously been vehemently anti-wind farm.

      Matt Hancock – Secretary of state for health and social care

      Matt Hancock has a record of voting against measures to combat climate change.

      During his time as energy minister, Hancock was criticised for hiring a private jet to fly back from Aberdeen to London after signing a deal on climate change with the President of Mexico.

      He has also taken donations from Neil Record , a funder of the UK’s leading climate science denial lobby group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

      https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/climate-change-global-warming-denial-17448313

    • Following the election one of Boris Johnson’s first acts has been to appoint climate change sceptics to his cabinet.

      This is despite election claims that his government would take the unfolding climate disaster seriously.

      Monmouth MP David TC Davies has been made a minister in the Wales Office, and assistant government whip.

      Mr Davies has a long history of denying man-made climate change despite the overwhelming consensus of leading experts around world stating the opposite.
      ..
      Chris Heaton-Harris – Minister of state (Department for Transport)
      Mr Heaton-Harris has regularly voted against measures to tackle climate change. These have included voting not to reduce the permitted carbon dioxide emission rate of new homes and against a strategy for carbon capture and storage for the energy industry.

      He has also previously been vehemently anti-wind farm.

      Matt Hancock – Secretary of state for health and social care

      Matt Hancock has a record of voting against measures to combat climate change.

      During his time as energy minister, Hancock was criticised for hiring a private jet to fly back from Aberdeen to London after signing a deal on climate change with the President of Mexico.

      He has also taken donations from Neil Record , a funder of the UK’s leading climate science denial lobby group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

      https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/climate-change-global-warming-denial-17448313

    • We’ll see. As it stands, the targets for decarbonisation stand, the Statutory Instrument with these targets in was put through Parliament by May on virtually her last day as PM stands, the Climate Change Act stands. Since Dominic Cummings has signalled a desire to think outside the box when it comes to recruitment to government posts, my suggestion is that Piers Corbyn be appointed chief advisor for climate change. Perhaps then some sanity might be injected into government actions with regard to climate.

  7. This simply reflects the reality that the climate change scam is about business and money… and nothing at all about climate or science. Get those hotel rooms booked up 100%. The restaurants and cafes filled with deep-pocket spenders. The airports and taxis dirviers pockets filled with cash form travelers from afar.

    Science departed the Climate Change consideration circa 1995. It’s all about the money. Always has been. It’s just now it’s more obvious.

  8. When did “I feel sad” come to mean “I’m angry”? If you’re angry, well, you might have a good reason. It’s not as if anger is something shameful, so you have to call it sorrow instead.

    Suppose you see a saddening scene in a movie. (The death of Bambi’s mom, something like that.) So you say, on watching the scene, “I’m angry.” Everybody would say you’re crazy.

    You just watch: Women are going to come forward to say that they were seriously and outrageously abused by Harvey Weinstein, and a lot of them are going to say that they feel saddened. I’m sad about this phenomenon. If you know what I mean.

  9. Whatever else you think of Boris, he sure does have the climate bug.

    Consider this headline in today’s Daily Mail:

    “Britain’s energy regulator unveils plan to rip out gas central heating from EVERY home and put 10 million electric vehicles on the road within 10 years”

    And all this increase in electricity to be powered by “more renewables”. Boris has promised to bring the UK to “net zero carbon emissions” by 2050 – a recipe for de-industrialisation.

    • On my old street in Britain people burned coal, or wood purchased for cash off the back of a pickup truck. All those old fireplaces were rehabilitated after the price of energy skyrocketed.

  10. Look on the bright side. Now they are holding these publicly funded jollies in places like Glasgow in November, it must be evidence that the embarrassing scale of abuse of public money, has even reached the climate alarmist zealots.
    They are clearly expecting the number of freeloaders to drop off, thus reducing the scale of their embarrassment and public ridicule.
    Glasgow is not a bad place to visit in the warmer months of the year. That means May to Sept. Outside that, the weather there can be, how shall we say?….dreich.
    As a famous poet might once have put it.
    Glasow, It’s a drab dreich more lich drich…. ache well.
    I suspect the Cop numbers will be lower this year….

  11. The main criteria (of course it won’t be on the written agenda) of COP26 is where shall we hold COP27 .
    Let’s go to a nicer warmer climate with better amenities than Glasgow .
    Perhaps an endangered island , Maldives anyone ??
    Oooh yeah , ok lets do that , can’t wait , well the world can wait one more year while we deliberate .

    • When Trump wins re-election in November 2020, then fittingly….the UNFCCC might as well hold COP 27 in Beijing, capital of the largest global emitter, or in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, capital of the largest oil producer.

  12. Another story from the climate change scam channel otherwise known as the BBC, we also have to pay all these academics in their useless attempt to save the world. We would like less expensive energy and much fewer academics employed in climate change research, the BBC should fund themselves. The earth is inanimate and will give us no reward for any effort we make to save it, academics are also obsessed with artificial intelligence which is also a futile attempt to turn the inanimate into the animate. The worship of the inanimate world over the people living in it has become a new religion and we are all expected to follow their rules and of course fund more and more academics in this pointless research.

  13. I still treasure Shukman’s piece on Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement for its multi-layered lying ( Miami, Pacific islands, USA CO2 record, Maldives etc)
    COP26 – if I was a minister I’d duck and weave to avoid the job. Bound to fail. We didn’t get much BBC TV coverage at Katowice or Madrid so let’s hope for lots at Glasgow. All those mad-looking FOREIGNERS freeloading in grim rainy Glasgow. Ranting sub-committee chairpersons. Can’t wait.

  14. I would like to see Nigel Farage nominated to chair the latest COP science fantasy conference – he would deal with these gabbling ninnies in fairly short order.

    If these green hypocrites were even genuine about the “threat” of “carbon” emissions they would not be travelling in their idiot hordes by air and conduct their dull repetitious hysteria remotely by video conference. It would give the rest of us a rest at least.

    • “I hate to sound like the unhip retiree I am, but what in the heck is an Indy cop unit??”

      A police squad in Delhi?

    • It’s short-form version of what was mentioned in the quote that followed those words:
      It couldn’t “cope” with an independent unit managing preparations for the conference, she said.

      the 26th COP being the conferences in question.

      Presumably she saw her role as acting on her own direction rather than that of the British Government. No wonder she got sacked.

  15. Perhaps Boris should appoint the Downing Street cat as the new head of COP 26; it would probably talk more sense!

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