Fears over Glasgow climate summit bill

Police

Lack of clarity over who will pay huge cost 

15th January 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Scotland could face a spat with the UK government over costs to host the UN climate change conference in Glasgow.

An estimated 90,000 people and 200 heads of state are set to attend the 12 day conference in November.  

Hosting the event is set to cost "several hundred million pounds" according to police but so far there has been a "lack of clarity" from Westminster over the issue.

The Scottish Police Authority said it will be the largest mobilisation of police ever in the UK and is meeting monthly with Scottish and UK government officials to plan security and minimise disruption for residents of Glasgow.

A report on the summit states: "Taking into consideration the planning assumptions and based on previous major summits/conferences (e.g. Nato Summit Wales 2014), the initial costings demonstrate that the event will cost potentially several hundred million pounds.

"Detailed financial planning is being developed and dialogue remains ongoing with the Cabinet Office relative to the cost recovery model that will be utilised."

Scottish ministers recently disclosed how the then Scottish Executive never recouped the costs for staging the G8 summit at Gleneagles in 2005.

The executive wanted the UK government to cover the full amount. But resistance from the UK Treasury saw it only contribute £20m.

The Scottish government said it was working with the UK government, Glasgow City Council and other partners to ensure the conference was a success.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "While the UK government has committed to cover core costs, Scottish ministers expect that all costs associated with COP26 will be borne by the UK government.

"This includes funding for police, fire and ambulance services to both prepare for and deliver a safe, secure and successful event. We continue to push the UK government on the lack of clarity on this key issue."

COP26 will be held at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) but other venues across the city will also host functions and meetings for heads of state and other dignitaries.