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Scottish Government at COP26: What was achieved?

This report provides an account of the activities delivered through the Scottish Government’s COP26 programme and how that activity supported the Scottish Government’s main climate related policy aims.


The UK, in partnership with Italy, hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.

This summit, was one of the most important and largest events ever to be held in Scotland. Over 40,000 people registered to attend which is more than for any previous COP and thousands more visited Glasgow while the summit was taking place.

Delivery of the summit was a collaborative effort, and the Scottish Government worked closely with the UK Government and partners in Scotland, including Glasgow City Council, Transport Scotland, and Police Scotland, to ensure the successful delivery of the event.

The Scottish Government set three main policy aims for COP26:

  • Scotland plays its part in securing an ambitious and deliverable global deal at COP26
  • COP26 fully contributes to Scotland meeting Net Zero through a Just Transition
  • COP26 enhances Scotland’s place in the world and attracts, innovation, investment and builds partnerships that bring benefits.

These three aims were underpinned by the Scottish Government’s commitment to playing its full part to ensure a safe, secure and successful event.

The aims were pursued across a Scottish Government COP26 programme of 484 Ministerial events, multiple announcements, speeches and bilateral diplomatic meetings and wide-reaching communications activities across Scotland and internationally. The Scottish Government, including Public Bodies, such as Transport Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Nature Scot, undertook this programme with a range of different partners, and they have been mentioned where relevant.

This report provides an account of the activities delivered through the Scottish Government’s COP26 programme and how that activity supported the Scottish Government’s three policy aims.

The first section of the report presents the framework developed to demonstrate the relationships between the Scottish Government’s COP26 aims and objectives and the eight different categories of activity that comprised the COP26 programme. The subsequent sections then provide further detail on the most significant elements of each of the eight activity categories, using case studies where appropriate. The final section reflects on Scottish Government success at COP26 and next steps looking forward to COP27 and beyond.

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