News ID: 259515
Published: 0804 GMT October 01, 2019

Glasgow set to be 'at forefront' of fight against climate change

Glasgow set to be 'at forefront' of fight against climate change

Action to combat climate change in Glasgow will be stepped up ahead of a major summit in the city next year.

Preparations are underway for COP26 at the SEC, Scotland's largest exhibition center, when world leaders, and tens of thousands of delegates, will arrive to discuss tackling the climate emergency, reported.

And Glasgow City Council wants to show the world the city is at the forefront of the fight.

Although the authority isn’t responsible for the summit, which will be organized by the UK Government, a project board — led by council chief executive Anne Marie O’Donnell — has been set up to work with partners, such as Police Scotland, to ensure everything runs smoothly.

A separate team will be formed to accelerate the city’s climate action, council leader Susan Aitken revealed.

“We will establish an officer group which is focused on working with partners to accelerate some of our carbon reduction and net zero activity,” she said.

“They will identify projects which we can seek to have delivered, or have close to being delivered, by November 2020, so they can be demonstrator projects that show the progress the city is making towards our targets.”

The council has committed to achieving a carbon neutral city by 2030 and Aitken wants Glasgow to be an example “to the many thousands of delegates we’re expecting”.

COP26 is likely to be held between November 9-19 next year, bringing an estimated £73 million benefit for the city’s hospitality sector.

A number of teams will feed into the project board’s work, including traffic and transport, business support, PR and engagement and policy and legacy.

Aitken said the council had to maximize the benefits of holding the event and ensure “Glasgow residents have the ability to play their parts”.

“With the experience the council has in running major events in the city we have a very important role,” she said.

“The council is not just a bit player here, we have a central role even though we’re not the main organizer.”

It is understood the UK government’s Cabinet Office will hold the overall budget for COP26.

“There may be some outlay for the council at various points,” Aitken said.

“We expect full cost recovery. Any initial outlay will be recovered in full from the UK Government.”

Labour Group leader Frank McAveety said the event was an “incredible opportunity”, particularly for education services.

“There’s a real desire among young people about trying to change things for the better,” he said, adding they might have a “level of cynicism” around political processes.

“All of us who care about democracy want to demonstrate that democracy can respond to those concerns.”

Aitken said there had been “significant” discussions about engagement during the event and its legacy.

Chief Executive Anne Marie O’Donnell added: “We want this to be the most inclusive COP in Glasgow next year. The detail hasn’t yet been finalized.”


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