About 120 world leaders, from US President Joe Biden to the Prime Minister of Andorra, are gathering in Glasgow for COP26.
Most countries will be represented in some form, with some 25,000 accredited delegates expected in the city for a UN climate change summit that will draw the eyes of the world.
- Why does a climate summit need 25,000 people?
Where and when does COP26 take place?
Glasgow was supposed to host the summit in 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.
COP26 will now take place at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus, approximately one mile west of the city center, from 31 October to 12 November.
The summit site will be divided into a blue zone and a green zone.
The Blue Zone has become official United Nations territory for the duration of the conference and will be patrolled by armed United Nations officers with the highest levels of security.
It hosts the negotiations and is only open to those who are officially involved in the summit.
The Blue Zone includes the Scottish Exhibition Center – with its five huge halls – the 3,000-seat Armadillo and the Hydro arena.
South of the river, the Scottish Science Center will be the heart of the green zone, open to the public for various paid events.
Who will be there?
Leaders and heads of state from countries around the world and thousands of delegates are expected in Scotland for the summit, hosted by the UK government.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon will not be on the COP26 negotiating team, but the UK government insists he will play an “important role”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be in Glasgow for the summit, but the Queen has been told not to travel on medical advice.
Prince Charles and his son, Prince William, will now represent the United Kingdom at official functions.
US President Joe Biden has confirmed that he will participate as well as many other world leaders, although security around those who will travel is tight.
- Putin will not attend the COP26 climate summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be present, but has insisted that climate change is an “important” priority.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is also unlikely to be present, although Chinese officials have reportedly not ruled out a change of plans entirely.
In addition to the leaders, famous names such as Sir David Attenborough are expected. He has been named COP26 People’s Advocate and will address world leaders and other attendees at the summit.
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Former US President Barack Obama is expected to meet young climate change activists and highlight their work around the world.
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, whose school strikes sparked the Fridays For Future movement, also confirmed that she will come to the city during the UN summit to take part in a climate strike on Friday 5 November.
Where will they all stay?
For safety reasons, it is unknown where the world leaders will be, but there are reports of many staying out of town as far as St Andrews, Edinburgh and Perthshire.
Hosting 25,000 delegates and tens of thousands who want to attend the COP for other reasons has been a major headache for the city.
All hotels are full and charge a big premium on their usual prices.
BBC Scotland found a room in town which usually costs £ 42 per night, advertised as costing £ 1,400 per night during the summit.
- “Airbnb host increased my COP26 booking by $ 2,000”
An Airbnb host was banned from taking reservations during COP26 after he raised the cost of his two-bedroom apartment by $ 2,000 to a customer he had already paid well in advance.
The guest said he was concerned that he had “lost a great deal of money” after seeing the average room price increase of “400%” in the area.
- Cruise ship arrives amid COP26 hotel pricing concerns
The housing shortage has led to two Estonian cruise ships being moored at King George V pier, near the Braehead shopping center in Renfrew.
They will provide housing for the security and production personnel working at the top.
Will there be any inconvenience?
Congestion maps show how trips to Glasgow will be “significantly impacted” by extensive road closures and stringent safety measures.
The A814 Clydeside Expressway, one of the main access routes to the city center along the north side of the river, is closed throughout the summit, potentially causing major queues.
And that’s before any protests that could further aggravate travel delays.
What about the police?
Scottish Police called it the “most complex and complicated event” ever staged in Scotland, with 10,000 officers from across the UK lined up every day.
It is much larger and longer in duration than the G8 summit in Gleneagles in 2005 and much more controversial than the Commonwealth Games, which were held in Glasgow in 2014.
From a police and security point of view, it is considered similar to the 2012 Olympics in London.
The presence of so many high-profile figures makes it a huge target for protesters and others looking to make an impact.
That is why there will be around 1,000 armed police officers on duty in the city, one of the largest mobilizations ever to take place in the UK.
The COP26 world climate summit in Glasgow in November is seen as crucial if climate change is to be kept under control. Nearly 200 countries are being asked for their plans to reduce emissions and this could lead to major changes in our daily lives.
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