Glasgow chosen to host major UN climate change conference

The conference will be held at Glasgow’s SEC Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

Glasgow has been selected to host a major UN climate change summit next year, if a UK bid is successful.

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) would see around 30,000 delegates gather in the city.

The UK Government is bidding to host COP26 over two weeks at the end of 2020, and has announced that the conference will be held at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC) on the banks of the River Clyde.

It would be the largest summit the UK has ever held, with up to 200 world leaders expected to attend for the final weekend.

Former minister Claire Perry, nominated as COP26 president, said: “As one of the UK’s most sustainable cities, with a record for hosting high-profile international events, Glasgow is the right choice to showcase the UK’s commitment to the environment.

The 23rd Conference of the Parties was held in Fiji. Credit: PA

"In 2020, world leaders will come together to discuss how to protect our planet and set the direction for the years to come.”

At COP21 in Paris in 2015, participating countries reached a landmark agreement to keep a global temperature rise this century below 2C above pre-industrial levels.

The UK Government said that, five years on, COP26 will be the first major test of the international community’s commitment to scale p efforts to reduce emissions.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “Glasgow has world-class facilities to host a prestigious conference like this, which will also provide a significant boost to the local economy and attract people from across the globe.

“The UK Government is showing great leadership on this vital issue – becoming the first major economy to pass new laws to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050.”

Environment campaigners also welcomed the announcement.

Lang Banks, director at WWF Scotland, said: “The fossil fuel era began in Scotland and in 2020 the global community must come to Glasgow and say that this will be the last fossil fuel generation and that we are ready to take on the climate and nature emergencies we face.

“This would be a huge event and the Scottish and UK Governments must be ready to show that we have our own houses in order and have strong climate emergency plans in place.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland director Richard Dixon said:”By COP26 all countries must have submitted new national pledges for climate action, so this summit will be the first real test of resolve under the Paris Agreement.

“Currently pledges put us on a path to a catastrophic 3 degrees or more, while the Paris Agreement’s goal is to get countries’ commitments in line with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.”