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COP26 preparations and local impact to be examined by MPs

23 March 2021

On 25 March, the Scottish Affairs Committee (SAC) will hold an evidence session examining preparations for the COP26 UN Climate Conference to be hosted in Glasgow, and the potential boost that it could bring to the local economy.

The 1-12 November event is expected to be the largest ever held in the UK. An originally anticipated 30,000 delegates will fly in for talks on how to drive down carbon emissions and slow down climate change. Some of the world’s most prominent leaders are likely to attend, making the consequent security and policing operation one of the biggest in British history.

At a December 2020 BEIS Committee meeting former COP chief organiser, Claire O’Neill, said that early plans for the event were fraught with misunderstandings and an underestimation of the conference’s scale and required resources. The SAC session will be an opportunity to check on progress with those responsible for preparations on the ground.

Purpose of the session

MPs from the Committee will question representatives from Police Scotland, Glasgow City Council and VisitScotland about:

  • challenges and cost of policing COP26 as well as plans to protect high profile attendees;

  • economic opportunities for Glasgow and Scotland during and after the event;

  • running a sustainable conference;

  • challenges caused by the pandemic and making the event Covid-secure.


Thursday 25 March 2021

At 11.30am:

  • Bernard Higgins, Assistant Chief Constable & Executive Lead for COP26, Police Scotland;

  • Leon Thompson, Government and Parliamentary Affairs Manager at VisitScotland;

  • Colin Edgar, Head of Communications and Strategic Partnerships, Glasgow City Council.

Further information

Image: Crown Copyright