Glasgow chosen as prospective host for COP26 climate summit

Glasgow has been chosen to host next year’s United Nations COP26 climate change conference if the British government’s bid is successful.

The Cabinet Office announced today (9 August) that the conference would be held at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC), which has been selected for its “world-class facilities”.

The UK is currently bidding to secure the COP26 presidency and host the international summit in partnership with Italy.

Up to 30,000 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the conference, including climate experts, business leaders and citizens from across the UK.

The conference will also include programmes for young people and make use of the wide range of conference and exhibition spaces at the SEC.

The former energy minister and recently-named UK nominee for president of COP26, Claire Perry, said Glasgow “is the right choice to showcase the UK’s commitment to the environment”.

“The UK is a world-leader in emissions reduction, having cut our emissions by over 40 per cent since 1990 – faster than any other G20 country since 2000,” said Perry.

“And we recently committed to go further, by legislating to reduce our net emissions to zero by 2050.

“In 2020, world leaders will come together to discuss how to protect our planet and set the direction for the years to come. Where better to do so than Glasgow, at the state-of-the-art SEC,” she added.

Responding to the news, Energy UK’s chief executive, Lawrence Slade said: “Scotland, and the wider UK, is world-leading in the deployment of low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies, with the first wind turbine built in Scotland by Professor James Blyth in 1887. So hosting COP26 in Glasgow is a great opportunity for the UK to showcase its progress and plans for making a zero-carbon economy a reality.

“The UK energy industry strongly supports the government’s bid to host COP26 and Energy UK’s members are taking the lead in decarbonising the UK economy – by leading on low carbon generation and investment in technology and innovation,” said Slade.

SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “Scotland is very much at the heart of the UK’s transition to a net-zero future, leading the drive towards investment in new renewable energy and the networks that take it round the country. But we cannot be complacent and much more hard work needs to be done.

“By hosting the world’s leaders in Glasgow next year for COP26, the UK and Scotland can continue to play their leadership role in driving the actions needed to combat climate change.”

A spokesman for Drax said the COP26 conference is an opportunity to show the world the UK’s ambitions for a net-zero economy.

“Making the transition towards a zero-carbon economy is in everyone’s interests – it is fitting that COP26 could take place in such a forward-thinking city as Glasgow; a world-leading hub for research, science and innovation,” they added.

In May, Scottish Power pledged to transform Glasgow into the UK’s first net-zero city.