Edinburgh's independent student newspaper

President Biden’s motorcade causes controversy

President Biden in his motorcade
Saturday 6th November 21.41

After months of planning and preparations, COP 26 began in Glasgow this week. The ‘Conference of the Parties’ is the UN’s largest climate change event, with the city of Glasgow hosting almost 30,000 delegates from 180 different countries across the world. 

With the ‘burning’ issue of the conference being addressing climate change, and in particular, cutting the emission of carbon and other toxic greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it did not go unnoticed that President Joe Biden is making a daily 89.4 mile round trip to and from the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow to the Dalmahoy Hotel just outside Edinburgh. 

The President left Edinburgh airport with a motorcade consisting of upwards of 30 vehicles. Biden announced on the opening day of the conference, that “none of us can escape the worst that is yet to come if we fail to seize this moment," proceeding to encourage further action to counter climate change and curb CO2 emissions.  

He arrived in Glasgow for the first day of the conference with a convoy of 20 vehicles. 

President Biden wishes for the US to be “leading by the power of our example." He has committed the US to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 in comparison to 2005 climate levels. 

However, Biden's use of petrol vehicles to attend the conference in Glasgow is likely to anger climate activists, and other road users across the western world, who are likely to face rises in the taxes on fuel and vehicle usage in the coming months as a result of COP26.

The presidential motorcade is by no means at its full strength here in Scotland. 

The president arrived in Rome for the G20 meeting of the world’s largest economies, a separate meeting in which climate change was also a key matter for discussion, with a motorcade of 85 vehicles, just days before the COP 26 conference.

President Biden is not alone in causing controversy for his method of transport to and from COP26. 

More than 400 private jets have been used to fly delegates to Glasgow, reportedly emitting over 13,000 tonnes of Co2 into the atmosphere.

Image: Flickr