More than 10,000 people from 98 countries apply to volunteer at Cop26

Laura Paterson, PA Scotland
·2-min read

More than 10,000 people from 98 countries have applied to volunteer at the Cop26 international climate summit in Scotland later this year.

The UN climate talks are due to take place in Glasgow in November after being postponed last year due to the coronavirus.

World leaders are expected to attend the summit which has been described as the most significant international meeting on climate change since the Paris Agreement in 2015.

It is being held at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) from November 1-12 and a call for volunteers to support staging the event has attracted 10,011 applicants – more than 10 times the roughly 1,000 places available.

SEC
Cop26 is taking place at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow in November (SEC/PA)

More than 70% of applications were from Glasgow and the surrounding areas, with Scotland as a whole providing 80% of applicants.

People from around the globe have also applied to volunteer, with forms being sent in from 98 countries, including Australia and India.

A third of those applying are under 25 but age proved no barrier to those keen to assist, with the oldest applicants aged 84.

Applications closed on March 31 and organisers are now undertaking selection and skill matching before offering the roles.

Those who become volunteers will provide information on the conference and the venues, support delegates staying in and travelling around the city, and promote the best of what Glasgow and Scotland have to offer.

Ahead of the summit, volunteers will attend a UN workshop on sustainability and be given training.

Glasgow City Council’s Cop26 Volunteer Manager, Claire Shiel, said: “It is incredibly encouraging to see such an overwhelming and positive response to our call for Cop26 volunteers.

“Volunteers bring an unrivalled spirit and warmth to any major event and, in return, have the chance to represent the city and have a truly unique experience.

“We are looking forward to welcoming a diverse and passionate team on board and are grateful to everyone who has expressed an interest.

“From the figures we can see that Covid has not diminished people’s spirit and strength of feeling around volunteering and this is extremely heartening for the sector as a whole.

“It’s amazing what can be achieved together through volunteering and, although we do not have roles for everyone who has applied, we know there are many organisations across Glasgow and beyond who are looking for volunteers and will be delighted to see this enthusiasm.”