ON Tuesday evening, it was announced that Glasgow would host the 26th Conference of the Parties, known as COP26, the world’s most important conference on climate change, following a successful joint British and Italian bid for the event. 

In December 2020, around 200 world leaders (that’s nearly all of them), and around 30,000 delegates will head to Scotland for the UN event. It will be, by quite some distance, the biggest conference ever held in the UK.


IT will also be one of the most important. The job of the delegates is nothing less than providing an international response to the climate emergency.

Back in 2015, at the equivalent meeting in Paris, an agreement was passed that committed the attending nations to keeping global temperature rises to no more than 2C above levels recorded from the pre-industrial era.

The countries also offered national pledges to cut or curb their greenhouse gas emissions to specific levels by 2030.

But those pledges have so far proven insufficient and there are certain to be demands for governments to do more.


THE conference comes just weeks after the next presidential election in the United States. That matters because President Donald Trump has begun the process of withdrawing the US from the Paris agreement.

If Trump is re-elected and gets his way on the climate deal, it could have a devastating impact on any Glasgow Agreement.


SCOTLAND’S Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham commented: “It is right that this conference should come to Scotland given our leadership in climate action.

“Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to acknowledge the global climate emergency and the Scottish Government has introduced the toughest targets in the UK to ensure our action matches the scale of our climate ambitions.”

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, said: “The UK has just received a huge vote of confidence from our international partners.

“We’re ready to bring the world together to make sure we leave our previous environment in a better state for our children.”

Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “The decision to bring these critical talks to Glasgow creates a huge opportunity for Scotland to play a leading role in driving forward global climate action.

“It’s an opportunity the people of Scotland will relish. Next year’s COP will be one of the most significant and crucial international summits on climate action.”