Tuesday 02 November 2021
The event is not without obstacles
The Minister was left in a wheelchair at COP26
For two hours, the Israeli energy minister, Elrar, tried in vain to reach the arena of the climate conference in Glasgow. The politician is in a wheelchair and the place is not without obstacles. After all, she has to go back to the hotel without doing anything.
Israel’s Energy Minister, Karen El Harar, said she was initially unable to participate in the World Climate Conference due to her inaccessibility. “It is sad that the United Nations, which promotes accessibility for people with disabilities, will not care about accessibility at its events in 2021,” Al-Harr wrote on Twitter.
According to media reports, the minister tried, on Monday, without success, to enter the crucial building through several entrances. The organizers also offered the minister a ride in a shuttle bus, which, however, also did not have a suitable entrance for wheelchairs. Ellar waited outside for two hours and then returned to her hotel.
The British ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, apologized to the politician and expressed concern about the incident. “We want a welcoming and inclusive global climate conference,” he wrote on Twitter. British Environment Minister George Eustice also expressed his regret for the incident. But he also blamed the lack of communication on the Israeli side. “What will usually happen in this situation is that Israel will inform us of this special request of its minister,” Eustice told BBC radio. At first there was no comment from the organizers.
Al-Harr arrived at the conference with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday. You can see in a video how the Secretary was driving her electric wheelchair alongside the Head of Government above the access level to the convention center. It was not clear if it was the same building that the minister had tried in vain to enter on Monday.