WATCH: Foundations laid for ground-breaking COP26 climate conference in Glasgow

The first concrete – or more accurately steel – evidence the United Nations climate summit will go ahead in person in Glasgow this November has emerged.

The international meeting, which is being hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, is billed as the most important since the Paris Agreement was set out in 2015 and is expected to attract up to 30,000 people to Scotland’s biggest city.

It was originally due to take place in November 2020, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And despite its rescheduling, a question mark has continued to hang over the final decision on whether to hold meetings face-to-face or move them to the virtual world.

Construction work began this week at the Scottish Events Campus in Glasgow, which is set to host the United nations climate summit COP26 in November. Picture: John Devlin

But now an army of construction workers, diggers and trucks has descended on the banks of the Clyde, with building beginning in earnest at the Scottish Events Campus.

A grid of metal support structures has already started to take shape and some roads surrounding the area, which is home to the SSE Hydro and the iconic Armadillo concert hall, have been closed to allow work to proceed.

The government’s COP26 team were being tight-lipped about what the new structures would be used for, so I can only speculate at this point.

But now, after all the uncertainty over the past year and a half, and with only 66 days left before the talks kick off, it’s reassuring to see some physical signs that it will actually take place as billed.

An array of metal structures has already sprung up at on the banks of the River Clyde, with only two months to go until the internationally important event. Picture: John Devlin

It’s not possible to underestimate the importance of the coming negotiations and resulting actions, which will determine the future for mankind and the planet.

How the 197 countries plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels sufficient to curb global temperature rise and prevent runaway climate change will be set down.

But success in Glasgow will also hang on other big issues, such as climate finance and carbon trading.

Let hope the sentiments of the UK’s COP26 team come true.

Up to 30,000 people, including world leaders and negotiators, are expected to come to Glasgow for the talks, which will be crucial in deciding how climate change is tackled. Picture: John Devlin

A spokesperson said: “Climate change is threatening lives and livelihoods around the world every day, so the world must urgently come together to agree action to protect our planet.

"Glasgow will be remembered as the city where this happened.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.