1,000 helpers sought for UN climate conference in Glasgow

COP26 / volunteers
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Glasgow has launched its volunteer programme for the major UN climate conference taking place this year.

Applications to join a 1,000-strong army of helpers at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP26 – open from today.

The UK will host the international summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021.

The talks are expected to bring together the largest gathering of heads of state ever hosted in the UK, alongside climate experts and campaigners.

A variety of volunteer roles will be available in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, including providing information on the conference and the venues.

Helpers will support delegates staying in and travelling around the city, and promote the best of what Glasgow and Scotland has to offer.

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken said: “Our COP26 volunteers will provide delegates and visitors with our world-famous warm Glasgow welcome, ensuring they have the best possible experience.

“We are proud to be staging COP26 and I would encourage anyone interested in grasping this opportunity to step forward and be part of our volunteering team. 

“You will be joining a collective of people who share your enthusiasm for the event, the cause and our vibrant city.”

COP26 President Alok Sharma said: “Time and time again we see the generosity of the great British public in making global events a triumph, and we are asking you to play a part in making COP26 a huge success.

Helpers will support delegates staying in and travelling around the city.

“This is an exciting opportunity to volunteer in Glasgow and help us all tackle climate change.”

Volunteers will receive a workshop on sustainability from the UN and be given the training and tools required to carry out their roles successfully and confidently.

As part of the recruitment launch, local volunteering ambassadors from across the city have stepped up to be the face of the campaign and encourage others to get involved.

Proud Glaswegian Karen Donaldson from Cardonald has volunteered at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Glasgow Doors Open Day.

She said: “Volunteering at COP26, in particular, will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance so for anyone thinking of applying, my advice would be: do it. 

“Event volunteering is such a buzz, you get so much from it and it opens your mind. 

“There’s also a community spirit among all the volunteers. 

‘Our COP26 volunteers will provide delegates and visitors with our world-famous warm Glasgow welcome, ensuring they have the best possible experience’

Council leader Cllr Susan Aitken

“You’re joining people from all walks of life and it gives you a warm feeling to know you’re part of that team.”

Scott Twigg of Govanhill, is originally from Liverpool and has lived in Glasgow for five years.

He said: “Whether you want to have new experiences, learn new skills or represent your city, I recommend you take this opportunity to be involved in a collective, collaborative effort in Glasgow and make it your own. 

“It’s a really exciting thing to be part of and I personally hope to come away with a fantastic experience that I’ve learned from and can use in the future.”

COP26 was postponed by a year to November 2021 to allow time to deliver a successful summit while the world tackles the pandemic. 

Organisers’ intent remains to hold the summit in person, with Glasgow as host city, whilst putting the health and wellbeing of all involved at the centre of any future decisions on the event.


  • Anyone interested can apply now to be a COP26 volunteer at www.ukcop26.org/volunteer. Applications close Wednesday, 31 March 2021.
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