Scotland first needs to get its own house in order say campaigners
Campaigners say choosing Glasgow to host the world’s biggest climate conference is a “vital milestone.”
The city will welcome 200 world leaders and around 30,000 delegates if the UK is chosen to host COP26, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC).
The programme of events would be based at the Scottish Event Campus conference centre which includes the SECC, the Hydro and the Armadillo.
A decision on the location for the UN conference, which has been described as the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015, is expected later this year.
Former energy minister Claire Perry, who is the UK-nominated president for COP26, 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.
"In 2020, world leaders will come together to discuss how to protect our planet and set the direction for the years to come."
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.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Richard Dixon said he welcomed the conference coming to Scotland. However he added: “Despite warm words, Scotland and the UK still aren’t planning to do enough to tackle the climate crisis.
“If the Scottish Government doesn't increase its targets in the Climate Bill currently before Parliament, COP26 will expose Scotland as simply one of many rich, industrialised countries failing to deliver their fair share of efforts to tackle the crisis.”
Dr Alison Doig, Christian Aid’s head of policy who was born in Glasgow and chairs the group that coordinates UK NGOs’ engagement with the government, said: “Hosting the UN climate summit is a huge responsibility, as we are already seeing the very real impacts of the climate crisis.
“With record temperatures in the UK and across Europe recently, devastating floods in Mozambique and India, and weather extremes causing havoc in other parts of the world, it will be up to the UK’s diplomatic skills and influence to ensure the Glasgow summit delivers a positive and urgent outcome for the planet.”