[File 770 asked the Glasgow in 2024 bidders whether the huge international climate summit, COP26, being held this week in SEC, the venue where they propose to hold the Worldcon, will have any effects or benefits for them.]
By Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Chair, Glasgow in 2024 Bid: Thanks for the recent query about COP26. It’s all rather exciting — we were able to visit Glasgow last month and hear directly about some of the preparations that the SEC is undertaking. Many of these will have long term effects on the site, and will also guide the SEC in their upcoming expansion. I’ve also included an image – it’s Getty Images, and came from this page here, which also gives more general details of Scotland’s own plans after the event: “COP26: Nicola Sturgeon says credible action needed on climate crisis”. (BBC News)
COP26 has produced an enormous impact on Glasgow. In advance, there were new hotels built on the SEC campus that have only just opened (Marriott Courtyard & Moxy). There was, and remains, strong demand for more hotel space in Glasgow, however there are now 1500 bedrooms within 5-10 minutes walk of the SEC (compared with under 300 in 1995, and 5-600 in 2005, the two previous years Worldcon was held there).
Both Glasgow Council & the SEC have used the impetus of COP26 to radically overhaul their environmental & sustainability policies — details in the links below:
- “Climate Emergency Group Sets Out a Path to Carbon Neutral Glasgow” – Glasgow City Council.
- “Sustainability & CSR” — SEC
The SEC is also now open to reuse options. For example, if succeeding events both want to carpet a particular area, in the past Event A would contract with a supplier to come in, lay the carpet, and then at the end of the event the supplier would come back and rip up and dispose of it — Event B doing the same again. The SEC will now help facilitate reuse between the two events — more sustainable and allows for cost sharing.
COP26 has also caused the SEC to consider innovative solutions to address some of the issues — e.g. they have converted their open car parks into usable space by building temporary structures, something like a large tent but more solid than that. I’ve attached an image of this, and you can see the scale of the site! I am sure there are many other things they are doing now which will be offered as options to us in the coming years (assuming we become seated.) We expect some of these to evolve as the event takes place and things are brought to light, which is rather exciting. I must admit I’m also rather tickled to think of some of the world’s greatest diplomats tucking themselves up to sleep after a hard day in the Crowne Plaza, or hanging out in our programme rooms!
Not directly related to COP, more a consequence of Covid-19, the SEC have also gone through a major upgrade of their tech which should greatly assist with streaming of content to virtual attendees.
We spoke to the SEC this week and wish them, and COP26, the best of luck with this momentous event!
Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Bid Chair.