Opinion: Glasgow will see very little benefit from hosting CoP26

IN just under a fortnight’s time, people from all over the world will canoe, sail, cycle and walk into Glasgow for the start of the UN Cop26 summit to combat climate change.

Others will almost certainly fly in too, but under the cover of darkness in case they are later labelled as hypocrites.

Events such as these should be a major economic boost for the host city with around 25,000 hungry and thirsty delegates eager to hit the town after a hard day arguing over impending armageddon.

Certainly some enterprising Glasgow homeowners are cashing in with some charging up to £130,000 to rent a place for the full 12 days.

But what will the summit actually bring to Glasgow apart from nearly two weeks of travel chaos and demonstrations by middle-class environmentalists who don’t seem to care who they upset as long as they get on the telly.

The answer is almost certainly very little. Who remembers the host of Cop25 after all? It was Madrid to save you Googling.

The Queen and President Biden are unlikely to share a quick pint in The Horseshoe Bar , while Greta Thunberg is likely to fancy nothing stronger than a kale and spinach smoothie.

All across the city, lentils will be cooked in amounts that even the NFUS would baulk at, while the subsequent emissions are likely to do more damage to the atmosphere than the Industrial Revolution.

Meanwhile ordinary Glaswegians will be prevented from going within a few miles of the SECC campus site, with trains and buses expected to be reduced too – just in case.

Scotland’s green credentials will also be on the agenda, always a tricky one when environmentalists arrive in an oil producing country.

Nicola Sturgeon tried her best yesterday when she was put on the spot about new oil fields.

It is an impossible task for her though given 130,000 are employed directly in the North Sea, with the Grangemouth refinery complex also the biggest single private sector employer site in the country.

Environmentalists and her Green coalition partners want it all closed down but the FM is acutely aware of the economic catastrophe that would follow. A slow wind down is the only sensible option with a smooth transition to green jobs a laudable, but difficult, aim.

The eye watering costs to transition to net zero have only recently emerged, with households facing the prospect of helping to fund a £33billion bill to get rid of gas central heating and better insulation.

Much hot air will be spouted at Cop26, a deal will be signed, and then everyone will head off back to where they came from and prepare for Cop27.

Environmentalists will still be angry and demand we return to the Dark Ages – now.

Ultimately the only winners will be the enterprising homeowners with a flair for business.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992