UN climate summit ‘to boost Glasgow’s economy by £73m’

Andrzej Duda, President of Poland, speaks at the opening ceremony of the COP 24 United Nations climate change conference on December 03, 2018 in Katowice, Poland. Picture: Getty Images
Andrzej Duda, President of Poland, speaks at the opening ceremony of the COP 24 United Nations climate change conference on December 03, 2018 in Katowice, Poland. Picture: Getty Images
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A UN climate change conference bringing world leaders to Glasgow next year could benefit the city’s hospitality sector by more than £73 million.

The city has won the bid to host the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), with up to 200 world leaders and 22,500 delegates expected to attend.

It has been described as the most important climate change summit since the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken revealed the bumper figure during a council meeting where elected members backed a motion which described hosting the event as a “tremendous honour”.

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She said: “The climate emergency is obviously the issue of our age and COP26 will be the most significant coming together of world leaders to discuss it since the signing of the Paris Agreement.

“Glasgow will be ready. We will host a safe and successful COP26 climate change conference. And we will do it in the Glasgow way, which is to make sure the communities and residents of this city are made to feel part of it.

“We were one of the great places of the Industrial Revolution. Now is our time to repay the places in the world suffering for climate change for our history and past contribution to climate change.

“Alongside the obvious benefits to the hospitality sector, estimated to be around £73 million, there are going to be a whole number of wider benefits for the city from being on the world stage like this.”

The summit, set up to help establish an international response to the climate emergency, will take place at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus at the end of 2020.

Held over two weeks, the event will take place in a year when governments around the world are expected to review their pledges to reduce carbon emissions.

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Next year’s conference is expected to see 170 states, and most world leaders, arrive in Glasgow.

It will probably take place after the US presidential election. The UK will host the main COP summit, while Italy will host preparatory events and a significant youth event.

The Foreign Office is responsible for delivering the conference and Ms Aitken said it was looking at committing a “significant number” of staff.

David McDonald, Ms Aitken’s deputy, also welcomed the climate conference and said it would be an opportunity to market Glasgow on a global scale.

He said: “More events of that size and calibre means more delegates, more investment, more jobs in our hotels, restaurants and conference facilities.”