COP26 climate change summit: Any disruption caused by talks will be worth it if they succeed – Scotsman comment

Two days to COP26: With scores of world leaders, thousands of delegates and tens of thousands of protesters, the United Nations climate summit was always going to cause some disruption to Glasgow.

Nicola Sturgeon said this was “regrettable in many ways” but added most residents would “understand the importance” of the talks being held at the Scottish Events Campus over the next two weeks.

It remains to be seen whether it will all be worth it or whether those taking part in what may well be a pivotal event in human history shirk their duty.

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We will also find out whether strikes planned by refuse workers, among others, will go ahead during the summit. According to a new poll, more than 60 per cent of Scots think it will be embarrassing for Sturgeon, for Glasgow and for Scotland if the strikes go ahead.

But, thankfully, the threatened strikes affecting ScotRail have now been called off and both the firm and the RMT union, the last holdout, should be congratulated for cutting a deal.

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COP26: Nicola Sturgeon: Disruption in Glasgow ‘will be regrettable’

Litter blowing about Glasgow’s streets will be embarrassing but this will produce nothing like the shame that would have been brought down on Scotland if delegates had been delayed by traffic jams because they were unable to travel by train.

This is not just a big event to be exploited. Delegates have serious business to conduct and, if they fail, the world will pay the price.

Major roads around Glasgow's SEC have been closed to traffic ahead of the COP26 climate summit (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

So, for the short period they are here, we should avoid disrupting their work, forgive them for any disruption they cause us and do something simple that any good host would do – welcome them.

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