Boris Johnson mocked for saying Glasgow’s Cop26 took place in Edinburgh

‘He’s living in a perpendicular universe’

Matt Mathers
Monday 15 November 2021 09:51
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Boris Johnson has been mocked for mistakenly referring to the Cop26 climate summit "in Edinburgh" rather than Glasgow where it was actually held.

The prime minister was speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Sunday as he defended a pledge by countries to start "phasing down" coal.

"I don't think António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, would want people to think that we've cracked it here at Cop in Edinburgh, of course not," he said.

Twitter users were quick to spot the misstep, with one joking that Mr Johnson is living in a "parallel universe to the rest of us".

"Perpendicular. He's living in a perpendicular universe,” another quipped. “Parallel would indicate at least heading in the same direction.”

It is not the first time a prominent figure has mixed up Glasgow with the Scottish capital while talking about the crucial climate summit, which ended on Friday.

CNN news anchor Wolf Blizter was teased online after "reporting from Edinburgh in Scotland where 20,000 world leaders and delegates have gathered for the Cop26 Climate Summit” as he tweeted a picture of himself in front of Edinburgh Castle.

“I can see how you could make that mistake. I was looking for a map and it looks like every place in Scotland is actually Glasgow,” Marcel Dirsus, an academic, tweeted sarcastically in response.

Cop26 in Glasgow finished with countries agreeing on a pledge to "phase down" the use of coal power in order to limit global temperature rises.

But China and India came under fire following a last minute intervention to water down the language in the final document to "phase down" rather than "phase out."

Mr Johnson said the agreement sounded the "death knell" for coal power and that the final wording in the paper doesn't "make that much of a difference – the direction of travel is pretty much the same.”

Campaigners claim that the agreement doesn't go far enough and that the conference as a whole has been a failure.

But UN climate change chief Patricia Espinosa called the pact a “good compromise” and said the goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5C was “definitely alive” after Glasgow.

“I think this is a very positive result in the sense that it gives us very clear guidance on what we need to do in the coming years,” she said.

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