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Glasgow City Council


Glasgow, the city of our times

What is COP26?

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is the foremost global forum for discussions on climate change.

COPs advance work on multi-lateral agreements, assess the progress of global efforts to limit global warming and provide a focus on a common way forward to tackle the realities of climate change.

The 26th Conference of the Parties is the most significant COP since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 as nations will be reviewing their emissions targets. Five years ago world leaders committed to an historic agreement to tackle climate change. They agreed to keep global mean temperature rises well below 2 ℃ and to strive to limit the rise to 1.5 ℃.

Made up of international negotiations, global civil society activity and activists, COP26 will be the biggest and most complex event ever staged in Scotland, with the largest gathering of Heads of State ever to happen in the UK.

COP26 will run from 31 October - 12 November 2021 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC)

Having grown steadily over the past two decades the conferences are now the largest meetings convened by the UN, and Heads of State and high-level government officials regularly attend as well as tens of thousands government delegates, representatives of civil society, intergovernmental (IGOs) organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international media.

The COP26 Presidency Programme has been confirmed, and will showcase momentum from the whole of society, and focus on key issues to drive ambition and action. Available to view here.

In addition to the main negotiations we can expect hundreds of meetings and social gatherings to take place during the period of the COP. The whole city will feel its presence.

Covid 19

Postponing COP26 by a year has given the event organisers, the UN, the UK government and ourselves time to redesign plans to deliver a successful summit, while the world tackles the pandemic.

Intentions remain unchanged - the UN and UK government aims to hold COP in person in a way that allows all the registered delegates to come together and participate in the negotiations on an equal footing. We continue to work towards that to meet the high ambitions for the summit and drive forward the urgent, coordinated global action we need to tackle climate change.

Ambitions also remain unchanged - this will be the biggest event the UK has ever hosted and most significant COP since the Paris Agreement was negotiated in 2015. We will be ready to welcome delegates and world leaders from across the globe to Glasgow. Extending to them our unrivalled warm welcome and showing that Glasgow is a city at the forefront of the transition to zero carbon world.

As you would expect organisers are considering what different covid scenarios might mean for COP26 and how the event is delivered. The health of the participants and the local community are at the centre of all operational planning and at the moment while we are 'planning to normal' there is flexibility and contingencies built into this process.

For more information:

COP26 Explained 

Why Glasgow?

Glasgow was chosen by the UK to host COP26 due to its experience in hosting world class events, commitment to sustainability and first-rate facilities.

Recently awarded the status of Global Green City, we have an ambitious target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.

The city is also currently ranked 4th in the world in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) that promotes responsible business tourism best practice.

Energy, low carbon and sustainable conferences are regularly in the top three key sectors for conferences in the city.

Our role in supporting this event is to help deliver a safe and successful conference. As the world watches, Glasgow will look fantastic and provide a welcoming and safe environment for delegates, visitors, businesses and residents.

Glasgow's Sustainable Ambition

The city's partners are committed to making Glasgow one of the most sustainable places in Europe, where a high quality of urban life and green business practices generating sustainable profits go together. Glasgow was one of the foremost cities of the first global industrial revolution and now it is forging a new economy in the middle of the green revolution.  

This is drawing upon the city's native spirit of innovation, partnership and entrepreneurialism - and it needs the active participation of a strong public sector and engaged business community. The city wants to see both green and inclusive economic growth so that sustainability and social justice are hallmarks of Glasgow's message to the world and its offer to residents, businesses and investors. 

The council declared a climate and ecological emergency for the city in May 2019 and then published the recommendations of its Climate Emergency Working Group. A summary of the climate emergency recommendations and a copy of the full report can be accessed here     

The key ambition is for the city to become carbon neutral by the year 2030. This is a journey that needs all partners to work together across public, private, academic and community sectors - with significant challenges around decarbonising heat and transport in particular.  

The Leader of the Council has therefore re-launched a Sustainable Glasgow partnership, which will act as the shared means of delivering a collective will to grow a greener Glasgow.

Cities are where the move to a more sustainable future will be delivered - due to the concentration of population. In recognising this Glasgow has partnered with a number of prominent cities with a common cause.

To achieve a 'just transition' we must manage change positively in an equitable way and prepare for our move to a cleaner, greener economy and society, leaving no one behind.

COP26 will add momentum to our existing ambitions and challenge us to do better, giving us a platform to highlight our progress now and beyond the Conference.

COP26 Host City Volunteers

Applications are now closed to be a COP26 Volunteer.

If you have applied, you can keep up-to-date with your application via the Volunteer Portal.

For other ways to get involved in COP26, please visit here.

More than 10,000 people applied to volunteer for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP26, with many eager to provide participants and media visiting from nations and territories around the world with the famous warm Glasgow welcome.

The UK will host the international summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on 31 October - 12 November 2021  and Glasgow City Council received a fantastic response from people keen to help support the staging of the event.

COP26 Host City Zone

Our very own Glasgow City Chambers will provide a prominent and appropriate place to welcome the world to our city and showcase the best of Glasgow, while creating a lasting legacy for the city.

As Host City, our ambition is to create a hub that allows for us to reach out to other cities, city networks and sub-national groupings, sell Glasgow to the world as a leader in the race to net zero and a place where green business can be done

We also want to provide a platform for the city's cultural sector and communities to exhibit their involvement in, solutions to and response to the city's climate emergency as well as showcasing their activity to COP visitors in an authentic and eye-catching way.

As you can appreciate we have received a high volume enquires and requests about holding events in one of our city venues, parks or precincts and plans for other activations. These requests have been exacerbated by the limited capacity within the UK Government's COP26 Green Zone at the Glasgow Science Centre.

To manage the varied requests coming to the council, our COP26 Team have established a process to capture and evaluate proposals, ensuring that all activity taking place in the city during COP26 is in line with the council's strategic objectives and that there is clear criteria from which to evaluate all applications.

For more information and the enquiry form visit here.

Get Involved

As we get closer to event time there will be many ways in which businesses, residents, schools and community groups can feel part of Glasgow, and the wider world's, climate change conversation and involvement in making COP26 a success.

The UK Government have launched Together For Our Planet, a campaign aimed at engaging the whole country in the conversation around climate change in the lead-up to COP26.

Make your action count and inspire others to do their bit by sharing what you are doing using #TogetherForOurPlanet on social media and joining others through the Count Us In campaign.

Race To Zero of which Glasgow is a member - is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors and universities for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

The campaign invites business from every corner of the UK to join the #RacetoZero with the aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest.

Please keep an eye out for more ways to get involved via our social channels:



For partnership and support enquiries visit the COP26 website to register your interest


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