Organisers of the COP26 climate change conference have apologised after delegates experienced lengthy delays trying to enter the summit venue.
The UN Climate Change secretariat emailed accredited delegates on Tuesday night, saying sorry for the “inconveniences associated with accessing the venue of COP26, both physically and virtually”.
COP26 has suffered two consecutive days of long queues, with those trying to get into the venue waiting outside for more than an hour.
A large crowd had built up by 9am on Tuesday as people sought to enter the conference campus in Glasgow.
By midday, hundreds of people were still queuing outside.
Each person attending COP26 must show proof of a negative coronavirus test and their accreditation ID before they can pass through turnstiles into the campus.
Once past the perimeter fence they must go through scanners in a security hall.
A bottleneck built up on both Monday and Tuesday outside the security hall, with delegates reportedly having missed meetings as a result.
COP26 said it may have to limit attendance due to the large number of people seeking entrance.
On Tuesday night, organisers issued a statement that said “As you are aware, COP26 is taking place under exceptional and unprecedented logistical circumstances.
“The Covid-19 pandemic means that UNFCCC and the UK host government had to put many safety measures in place to protect the health of all participants.
“This has meant reducing access to many spaces within the venue to ensure social distancing can be maintained as well as having to reduce the security and registration lanes in line with Covid-19-related protocols.
“At the same time, we have seen unprecedented interest in this conference, given the importance of addressing climate change, with high numbers of participants registering. The World Leaders Summit, with its inevitable security arrangements, has added to the many logistical pressures.”
“In many ways, the first few days of the COP26 have been a learning process, with participants and staff getting used to the pandemic-related logistical measures and circumstances, and we are doing our utmost to continuously learn and adapt.”
Organisers asked people to use its online COP Platform instead of attending “where possible” but that also experienced difficulties.
“We also understand that participants experienced problems in accessing the COP26 platform,” the statement said.
“This is a new virtual platform that has been built specifically for COP26 in view of the Covid-19 restrictions and learning from the many virtual meetings that took place since the beginning of the pandemic.
“The platform is complex, as are the many modalities and different types of individual events and meetings.”
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