COP26 is due to take place in Glasgow later this year after it was delayed in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

The conference will see 30,000 attendees, including world leaders, descend on Scotland's largest city to hash out goals to end countries contribution to climate change

With the event set to be the largest summit ever hosted in the UK, what exactly is COP26 and why is it taking place in Glasgow? 

What is COP26? 

COP26 is the next annual UN conference on climate change. 

It will see countries around the world come together to discuss how they can reduce their negative impact on climate change.

It's the 26th conference to take place since the legally binding United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty was established in 1994. 

COP stands for Conference of the Parties, with every one of the 194 nations who signed the UNFCCC attending. 

Most nations in the world signed the treaty, meaning that most nations committeed to stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations.

What is the Paris agreement?

The Paris agreement was negotiated under the UNFCCC. 

At COP21 held in Paris in 2015, 197 parties adopted a legal agreement committing them to addressing climate change.

The aim of the Paris agreement is to prevent the world's average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees, in order to halt some of the most damaging impact of climate change. 

Only seven countries have not signed up to the Paris agreement: Iran, Turkey,  Eritrea, Iraq, South Sudan, Libya and Yemen.

Meanwhile, the US left the agreement under Donald Trump's presidency but rejoined in 2021 under Joe Biden. 

Why is COP26 so significant?

The COP annual meetings aim to assess the measures taken by nations to move towards the collective goals of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.

Essentially it analyses whether the work countries are doing towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement is sufficient, and tries to establish plans and strategies to help countries reduce their impact on the climate. 

COP26 is particularly significant as countries are going to review their emission targets.

What commitments have countries made? 

In 2021, the UK has pledged to cut emissions by 68% by the year 2030. 

However, currently even if countries were to stick to their pledges, this would still not be enough to keep the world below the 2 degree warming target. 

This means that COP26 this year could see some very big commitments from member countries to try and improve the chances of fulfilling the Paris agreement. 

Why is COP26 being held in Glasgow?

Glasgow was chosen as a host city for numerous reasons including the city's experience hosting world class events, its commitment to sustainability and strong facilities. 

It has also been named a Global Green City meaning it has been recognised as a sustainable city. 

Where in Glasgow will it take place?

The Glasgow City Chambers will provide a backdrop to COP26, with the potential for the cultural sector and communities to get involved and benefit from the exposure. 

When will COP26 take place?

The conference is due to take place October 31 - November 12 2021.