What is COP26? Why it’s being held in Glasgow - and who’s attending

Glasgow will be hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties - better known as COP26 - later this year.

COP26 is being held in Glasgow. Pic: Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

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.

What are the goals: The parties will be asked bring forward plans which can help them reach their net zero target by 2050 - achieved by accelerate the phase out of coal, encourage investment in renewables, curb deforestation and speed up the switch to electric vehicles. Other goals include protecting communities and natural habitats and making them more resilient, delivering funding to make these goals achievable, and agreeing to work together better, including by finalising the Paris Rulebook.

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Who will be there: Around 30,000 people, representing over 200 countries, business, faith groups, NGOs and more, are expected to be in the city for the conference.

Why Glasgow: Organiser say the city was chosen to host the event because of its commitment - including plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 and become one of Europe’s greenest cities - and experience hosting big events, such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Where will it be held: The Scottish Events Campus (SEC) will be the venue for the event.

Will roads be closed: Yes, a number of nearby roads, including the Clydeside Expressway, will be shut during the event. Other roads, like Finnieston Street, will be local access only.

Will there be protests: Protests are expected to take place during the conference, with Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, even stating that protesters were ‘welcome’. It has already been announced that around 10,000 police officers will be deployed each day during the conference.

When is COP26 taking place: The conference will be held between October 31 and November 12.