A PRESTIGIOUS UN climate change summit to be held in Glasgow can provide the impetus the city needs to transform itself, campaigners have said.

On Tuesday it was confirmed Scottish Events Campus (SEC) would host COP26, described as the most important on climate change gathering since 2015.

As many as 30,000 delegates are set to join heads of government in Glasgow for talks on measures to tackle the climate emergency.

Those working in the city have said next year's gathering is an opportunity to make Glasgow more sustainable.

READ MORE: Glasgow confirmed as host venue for COP26 climate summit

Green Councillor Martha Wardrop called for investment to ensure the skills needed to build a green economy are developed.

She added: "UN’s major global climate conference is a fantastic opportunity for Glasgow and its citizens to help push for a better world and support a rapid response to the climate emergency.

"It is vital that Glasgow’s communities are able to be part of climate change actions in the lead up to and during this momentous event in the city’s history.

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"The summit will provide a platform to support the city’s current efforts and to help shift plans towards a more comprehensive and integrated approach to active travel.

"Over the next 15 months, the council can lead the delivery of an implementation plan to accelerate the development of low carbon industry and a just transition."

When it was announced the summit was coming to Glasgow, leaders in government, as well as the city council, called this a recognition of work done on sustainability.

READ MORE: UK to host key UN climate talks in 2020

However, some have criticised the lack of progress made in Glasgow tackling the climate emergency.

Friends of the Earth Scotland's air pollution campaigner Gavin Thomson said: "The air quality in Glasgow is still at illegal toxic levels.

"The slow pace of the Low Emission Zone means we won’t see that much improvement by the time COP comes around. Delegates from around the world will be breathing in Glasgow’s toxic fumes.

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"Our public transport is patchy, expensive, and difficult to navigate. Delegates who arrive at COP, particularly from European cities, may find Glasgow far behind what they are used to.

"COP is an opportunity to make Glasgow a city where it’s easy and cheap to travel sustainably. Hopefully the council and Scottish Government can move quicker, to prioritise walking and cycling and enforce bus lanes and parking restrictions. We need to leave the car-centric mistakes in the past and move Glasgow into the 21st century."

Moves to improve transport links have been echoed by Glasgow's business leaders.

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Stuart Patrick, chief executive, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "We would also call for the conclusions of the city’s Connectivity Commission to be acted upon, including a swift review of the case for the Glasgow Metro.

"The wider Glasgow region has been designed primarily for cars over several decades, and we need a revolution in public transport provision to change that, with a Metro as the first step."

This week's announcement comes just months after a report by Climate Ready Clyde showed Glasgow's major roads, railways and hospitals are at risk from climate change.

The group's chair, James Curran, said, to be leaders at next year's event, investing in the delivery of environmental measures is crucial.

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He added: "Over the next 15 months, we need a bold world-leading climate adaptation strategy and action plan to show what good adaptation looks like - which delivers economic prosperity and social and environmental benefit for everyone in the west of Scotland."

In response, Glasgow City Council have said COP26 presents an opportunity for the city.

A spokesman added: "The work of the Climate Emergency Working Group has set a path for a carbon neutral Glasgow by 2030 and an implementation plan that responds to their recommendations will be brought forward as soon as possible.

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“There is already a huge amount of work underway in Glasgow to decarbonise how people travel but also to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy.

"There is no question that the recommendations of the working group present a significant challenge to Glasgow but COP26 provides an opportunity to show the world how a net zero carbon city can be achieved.”