Recent BBC News reports have revealed a significant leak of documents revealing how countries are trying to change a crucial scientific report on how to tackle the climate emergency. They reveal that Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia are among countries asking the UN to play down the need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels. They also show some wealthy nations are questioning paying more to poorer states to move to greener technologies.
However, this weekend’s Financial Times has revealed a leak of a different sort. Journalists Leslie Hook, Camilla Hudson and Steven Bernard have found that a powerful greenhouse gas which is said to be responsible for 40 per cent of the world’s recent warming is polluting the atmosphere from a site not far from where the COP26 summit opens next weekend.
They report that methane from a gas pipeline near Glasgow Rangers Ibrox football stadium, less than half an hour walk from the conference centre is leaking at a rate equivalent to 50 tonnes a year. That’s about the same as the emissions from 500 cows!
The distribution company responsible for operating Glasgow’s pipe lines, SGN said it planned to fix the leak but it could not switch off the gas immediately as it needed to maintain supplies to users.
Meanwhile returning to the other leaks, documents consisting of more than 32,000 submissions made by governments, companies and other interested parties to the team of scientists compiling a UN report are designed to bring together the best scientific evidence on how to tackle climate change. They are used by governments to decide what action is needed to tackle climate change, and the latest will be a crucial input to negotiations at the Glasgow conference.
Further information BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-58982445 and FT Weekend: https://www.ft.com/content/c9c43e4f-c83e-42e4-a815-9266b970af7a