In November 2021 Scotland welcomed COP26 to Glasgow - the largest business event ever hosted in the UK. We look at why Scotland is the perfect host, and how business events can bring about social and economic change.

The UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties 26 (COP26) took place in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021. The climate talks brought together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree co-ordinated action to tackle climate change under the Paris Agreement.

The talks in Glasgow culminated in the 197 participating countries agreeing a new deal, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, aimed at staving off dangerous climate change. The Glasgow Climate pact reaffirms the Paris Agreement temperature goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. One of the biggest strides forward was the explicit mention of coal as one of the main contributing factors to climate change, and significant financial support to help countries transition away from coal. This is the first time any fossil fuels were explicitly mentioned as causers of climate change at a COP – reflecting the fact that although all major economies rely on fossil fuel energy, the crisis is now sufficiently advanced that there is no space left to be diplomatic and our energy generation needs to change.

Commitments on a host of other measures were made by all countries who attended. Issues included deforestation, coal production, methane gas control, transportation, and agriculture. In all these issues, when a country works in isolation it can be easy to look inward and focus only on that national agenda. But at events like COP all nations are held to account and forced to see the bigger, impact of they way our global system works on all ecosystems and all life on earth and the risk we are creating.

Now more than ever, and thanks to COP26, it is recognised the threat climate change poses to our way of life on earth. As climate changes, weather become less predictable, more extreme, and the fragile ecosystems we all rely on become irreversibly damaged. But it is not yet too late to avoid the worst impacts - by acting together, we can change how we live, work, eat and play. We can embrace new technologies, take bold decisions, and ensure that we learn to live sustainably and to protect our home.
When we meet face to face, we see eye to eye. And so, the world came to Scotland for COP26, to meet, discuss, learn, and engage. The world came to Scotland to begin a Journey to Change.

Business Events as change agents

We believe that business events can deliver social and economic change, and COP26 is the most prominent example of the energy and focus business events can shine on an issue. Business events attract delegates from around the world, experts in their fields. When business events take place, they become a forum to discuss all kinds of subjects, form climate change to digital technology to life sciences. But what all business events have in common is the power to educate, to share knowledge, to start conversations, to put people on a journey to change.

Scotland, on a Journey to Change

In Scotland you can start your own journey to change. When you come to Scotland to organise a business event, we can connect you with policy makers, social enterprises, innovation centres and academic intuitions. When you organise a business event in Scotland, we know it is an opportunity for your delegates to meet our local experts, for your leaders to meet our policy makers. It is an opportunity for Scotland to learn from you, and for you to learn from Scotland. It is an opportunity to change minds, change lives, and to start something important that will last for decades.

In Scotland we have already started our Journey to Change, but we know we have a long way to go. Here are some inspiring tales of change from Scotland, from organisations you can partner with when you organise events here in Scotland.

Scotland, where the journey begins

Scotland has everything you need to host an event, from major international events like COP26 to academic conferences and global association congresses. In Scotland everything is possible.

With 3 dedicated international conference centres, hundreds of unique and inspiring meeting venues, world class hotels and resorts, and the professional excellence of dedicated conference organisers – Scotland can put on the biggest events in the world, and we were proud to host the biggest business event the UK has ever hosted, COP26.

To begin your journey to change in Scotland you can contact VisitScotland and we can help discuss your needs, or use our venue and service search tools, to find the places and people you need.