COP26: The Queen and Joe Biden to stay in Edinburgh instead of Glasgow during climate summit

Some of the most famous names to attend the climate summit will be staying in Edinburgh, not Glasgow, during COP26.

What’s happening? Queen Elizabeth II and US President Joe Biden are the top names among an ever-growing list of high profile attendees expected at the conference in Glasgow next month. Instead of staying in the city, it has been revealed by the Edinburgh Evening News that they’ll travel from Edinburgh as that’s where they’re going to be based.

It was previously thought that the Pope would also be attending the climate conference however, the Vatican announced on Friday 8 October that its delegation would be led by Cardinal Parolin, its secretary of state.

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When are they going to be in Scotland? Exact dates have not been confirmed but President Biden is expected to stay in Edinburgh during the summit, while the Queen is due to be in residence at Holyrood at the same time.

Are they the only ones to stay in Edinburgh? No, more than 100 head of state’s are expected to attend the climate conference, which takes place from 31 October until 12 November, with many of them choosing to commute from the capital.

Major contingency plans have been put in place by Police Scotland to maximise security and ensure the operation moves smoothly.

During the summit, up to 30,000 people and representatives from more than 200 countries will descend on the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) to discuss the climate crisis and plans to tackle it on a global level.

How will this affect commuters? It’s not great news if you need to travel between the cities at this time as sections of the M8 motorway could be shut. This is due to security concerns over these VIPs being caught in slow-moving traffic.

Transport sources said that drivers faced delays of up to 30 minutes on the M8 in Glasgow on November 1 and 2 if world leaders and their international delegations travelled via the motorway to reach the summit.

What is COP26? The aim of the meeting is to speed up the process of reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change. It was originally due to take place last year, but was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, the Scotsman