But campaigners warn decision makers not to squander golden opportunity
Environmentalists have hailed the decision to bring the world’s biggest climate change conference to Glasgow as an “unmissable opportunity.”
However they warned that the event will expose Scotland as another “rich failure” if it does not get its own house in order in cutting emissions.
The city won the bid to host the United Nations’ 26th Conference of the Parties, known as COP26, following a partnership with Italy.
Some 30,000 delegates and 200 world leaders are expected to attend the event at Glasgow's Scottish Events Campus (SEC) at the end of next year.
The event has been described as the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015.
Caroline Rance , Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner, said the eyes of the world will be on Scotland next year but warned: “If the Scottish Government doesn’t increase its targets in the Climate Bill currently going through Holyrood and get serious about cutting emissions, COP26 will expose Scotland as simply one of many rich, industrialised countries failing to deliver their fair share of efforts to tackle the crisis.”
Lang Banks, director at WWF Scotland added: “Scotland was the first nation in the world to declare a climate emergency and last week the first minister put this at the heart of her government’s work for the next 12 months.
“Between now and 2020, when the eyes of the world will be on us, it’s vital these commitments are put into action so we can demonstrate how embracing bolder action on climate in Scotland reaps benefits for people and our economy.”
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 of all the UK countries to curb emissions.
Anne McCall, director of RSPB Scotland, said: “Scotland is already delivering some world-leading projects that are bringing major benefits to our climate and nature, but like all countries, there is much, much more to do to deliver the transformational change needed.
“COP 26 will be a major opportunity for all countries to make commitments to invest in nature and climate solutions that will halt our runaway climate breakdown and restore the biodiversity on which human life depends. We must show leadership and act now.”
Claire Perry, UK nominated president for COP26, called Glasgow one of the UK's most sustainable cities with a great track record for hosting high-profile international events.
She added: "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.”