Glasgow to host the next UN climate change conference

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 9 August 2019 in News

The Scotland Office said hosting the conference would provide a boost for business while showcasing “the diverse culture and world-leading innovation that the UK has to offer”

Image credit: CC0/PublicDomainPictures.net

Glasgow will host the next UN climate change conference if the UK is confirmed as the host country, COP26 president Claire Perry has said.

With the UK expected to be named as the host for the UN COP 26 Climate Change conference, held over two weeks at the end of 2020, the UK Government announced it would be held at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus.

The UK is also bidding to secure the presidency of COP 26, with former UK energy minister Claire Perry having been named as the UK’s nomination by the Prime Minister.

Announcing the news, the Scotland Office said hosting the conference would provide a boost for business while showcasing “the diverse culture and world-leading innovation that the UK has to offer”.

Perry 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 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. 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 Scottish Events Campus.”

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham welcomed the news, saying it was “natural that COP 26 should take place in the city given its strong global presence and ambitious plans for climate action”.

She said: “Glasgow has an excellent reputation, demonstrated through many major events and will undoubtedly deliver a highly successful conference.

“Scotland has a reputation as a world leader in tackling climate change. We were one of the first countries in the world to acknowledge the global climate emergency, we are introducing the toughest targets in the UK and we are committed to taking action that matches the scale of our climate ambitions.

“We have been supportive of the UK Government’s joint bid with Italy to host COP26 and are committed to working collaboratively to deliver an ambitious and effective conference that includes a strong role for Scottish Ministers, represents the interests of Scotland and promotes increased global ambition on climate change.”

The conference comes five years after the Paris Agreement, aimed at keeping global temperature rises under two degrees from pre-industrial levels.

But the agreement has faced criticism from campaigners, with developed nations repeatedly accused of failing to meet their emission reduction targets.

Lang Banks, director at WWF Scotland said: “The news that Glasgow could host this event is very exciting. This will be a vital milestone in the global response to the growing climate crisis. 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. Scotland is already generating 75 per cent of its electricity needs from renewables and aiming to end the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2032. COP26 in Glasgow would be an opportunity to put our leadership and our zero-carbon economy on the world stage but we also need to put in place more concrete actions at home.”

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