IT’S a rock and a hard place kind of conundrum. Having a raft of private jets landing in Scotland and an incoming President whose motorcade seems to take up half the M8 on its own hardly seems the best advert for reducing the global carbon footprint.

Yet it seems that without being able to see the whites of each others’ eyes – fortunately still visible north of the mask – our pampered world leaders seem unable to commit to any meaningful promises.

It doesn’t help to foster a notion of urgency when both the US President and the UK Prime Minister are, quite literally, caught napping on camera. (And I’m not sure you can plead jet lag between London and Glasgow.)

Of course, as we all know, a huge amount of pre-summit wrangling goes on, whilst it’s the poor bloody civil service infantry from all and every administration who get down to some serious midnight oil burning to sort out the final communique. When the going gets tough the top brass get out of town.

However the biggest problems begin when COP26 is over and countries have to make good on their summit commitments. Will Brazil’s President – known Covid and climate change denier – really stop illegal logging of the world’s most important lung?

Then again, Mr Bolsonaro may be viewing future developments from the inside of an upmarket cell block if some of his political opponents have their way. Couldn’t happen to a nicer chap.

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Meanwhile Glasgow is spending a fortnight on the world map, though not always for the best of reasons. Edinburgh got in on the act too when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer assured a startled audience on Twitter that the world’s leaders were foregathered in the capital. He helpfully delivered that thought from a pop up studio with a backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

Mr Blitzer is thought to be leaving the country quite soon to spend more time with his atlas.

Yet for all the queuing and noises off it didn’t do Scotland’s biggest city any harm to have some of its more iconic buildings featured as a backdrop to reports from a raft of international journalists.

I noted the leader of the city council urged delegates to get out and about if they could, and have a chat with some of the locals, the better to get a feel for the place.

What wasn’t revealed was whether the welcome pack contained a handy English/Scots/Glaswegian dictionary.