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Below you will find our COP26 web portal. In the lead up and throughout the two weeks of the conference we kept Scottish businesses in the loop on all disruptions that may affect them through one central point. We collated information from various organisations through our connections and made it easy to access in one central hub. Although the page now only serves for archival purposes we have decided to keep it available as much of the guidance is still relevant.

We would also like to congratulate Police Scotland on a very successful and peaceful policing campaign. The work and effort they put in to ensure public safety is something that Scotland can be very proud of and helped showcase one of the best aspects of Scotland.

About COP26

Glasgow played host to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021. Below was our info page with details on the conference and ways to mange your business resilience throughout it.


COP26 will be biggest summit the UK has ever hosted, with around 30,000 attendees expected if it goes ahead as a fully physical event. Many people see it as the most significant climate event since the 2015 Paris Agreement – when all the signatories to the UNFCC agreed to keep temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

COP26 was rescheduled by a year to November 2021 to allow time to deliver a successful summit while the world tackles the pandemic. The intent remains to hold the summit in person, whilst putting the health and wellbeing of local communities and delegations at the centre of decisions about how the event will take shape.

Business guidance 

A guide to help businesses in the city prepare for COP26 has been launched and is available on the Get Ready Glasgow website. It covers areas including safety and security, traffic and transport and ways businesses can play their part. Access it here.


Transport Scotland have published a Transport Plan Overview for the event. Read about local transport measures and what they will mean for the public, businesses and visitors.

Get Ready Glasgow

Who is attending

COP26 will involve upwards of 30,000 people in the city, representing over 200 countries, businesses, NGOs, faith groups and many more.

Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be COP26 President and will preside over the COP26 negotiations.

Other notable figures include Pope Francis, American President Joe Biden and Sir David Attenborough.

What’s the impact on businesses

The City of Glasgow is likely to have its own exhibitions and events and the Scottish Government will have its own venue outside the official COP26 arena. Many businesses, academics, and NGOs will use the city for side meetings, conferences and events.

Glasgow’s focus for COP26 is on supporting and delivering a safe and successful event by keeping the city moving, supporting the appropriate public health measures and delivering a legacy for the city.

“Police Scotland is pleased to support the Scottish Business Resilience Centre in providing important information to allow businesses to prepare and plan for COP26.

“We are working with partners to deliver a safe and secure event while also ensuring that the communities of Scotland continue to receive the same high standard of service from policing that they have come to expect.

“Climate Change is a topic which is receiving significant media attention and ever-increasing numbers of protests around the world.  We will provide a proportionate policing response to any protests, balancing the needs and rights of those wishing to demonstrate or protest, against the needs of the wider community.

“Specialist resources, made up of Police Scotland officers and officers from other UK police forces, will be in place for the duration of the event to ensure the safety of everyone involved, including world leaders and heads of state, delegates, and the wider public within Scotland.

“Police Scotland officers and staff will continue to work in association with UK Government and other partners to support the delivery of external communication and engagement to ensure people and businesses are able to plan ahead for any potential disruption.”

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, Police Scotland’s Gold Commander for COP26.

Business Resilience

Cyber essentials

Incident Response

In partnership with Scottish Government and Police Scotland, we have launched the UK’s first cyber incident response helpline for the SME community and the third sector to help victims of cybercrime understand what support is immediately available to them and help them recover.

The number to call is:

0800 167 0623

Exercise in a box

Exercise in a Box

A free, 90 minute non technical workshop which helps organisations find out how resilient they are to cyber attacks and practise their response in a safe environment.

On completion you will leave comforted knowing you have done everything you can to protect your organisation, or with a to-do list to strengthen your organisation

Scottish Business Resilience Centre

Business resources

We have a comprehensive suite of cyber security tips, advice and best practice available to download from our resource library.

Resources include information on:

  • Ransomware
  • Reputation management

COP26 Protest Q&A

Police Scotland have put together a 9-page Q&A PDF covering a range of areas of interest. This includes information on how to prepare your business and staff for COP26 and specific information in support provided by Police Scotland.

Traffic and Travel

The event comes as details of the impact of the conference on this city’s road network around the main venue, the SEC, and river restrictions are announced. These measures are needed to facilitate the safe delivery of the event and maintain the safety and security of participants, citizens and visitors:

  • Closure of the Clydeside Expressway from Partick Interchange to North Street
  • Closure of Finnieston Street from Lancefield Quay to West Greenhill Place. With local access maintained
  • Closure of Lancefield Quay from Elliot Street to Finnieston Street – except for service buses
  • Closure of the Clyde Arc – except for service buses
  • Closure of Stobcross Road from Partick Interchange to Finnieston Street
  • Minerva Street – Local Access Only between Minerva Way and West Greenhill Place
  • West Greenhill Place – Local Access Only
Area near SEC in Glasgow

Exact dates on the period of road closures and when they will come into effect are still to be confirmed, but will be widely communicated in the coming months.

The Right to Protest

Under the Human Rights Act everybody has a freedom of expression and a freedom of thought and assembly.

This means that;

“Everybody has a right to a peaceful protest and no restrictions shall be placed on this unless it is in the interests of national security, public safety or for the prevention of disorder or crime”

Therefore, the response to any type of protest must be based on an acceptance that protesters have a right to peaceful protest. There is, however, a limit as to what protesters can do in pursuance of their cause before some activities contravene criminal or civil law.

Common protest methods

  • Most protest will be peaceful and cause no disruption to the public, however on occasion the protester will aim to cause as much disruption as possible.  Below are common methods used.
  • Trespassing – Entering another person’s land or premises without permission or entering property or land with permission which is subsequently removed; however, the person then refuses to leave.
  • Obstructing the Highway – Without lawful authority a person places or deposits anything (including themselves) in a road so as to obstruct the passage of, or to endanger road users.
  • Breach of the Peace – When a person conducts themselves in a riotous or disorderly manner to the alarm or annoyance of the public
  • Mobbing & Rioting – Formation of a mob, engaging in disorderly conduct and criminal behaviour.  Must be for an “illegal purpose, or in order to carry out a legal purpose by illegal means, for example Violence or intimidation”
  • Vandalism – An act in which a person, without reasonable excuse, wilfully or recklessly destroys or damages property of another
  • Lock on’s – Chaining themselves to buildings/each other, gluing themselves to buildings/transport  

What should you do?

Monitor – Ethier from CCTV or discretely in person from a distance.  Encourage staff and where possible, customers not to intervene, argue or inflame a situation.  Even when views expressed differ from your own, the best course of action is to walk by and ignore it. 

Inform Police – If you feel the situation is gathering momentum or becoming a problem Contact 101 or in an emergency 999.  Many protester groups are well versed in law and know how not to fall foul of it.  Police response will be to monitor and to ensure the safety of all concerned.  If the law is not broken protesters will be allowed to continue.  It will be very rare to see a protester being asked to move on or being arrested (unless they are breaking the law)

Think reputational damage – Protesters often film themselves and the public’s reaction to them.  They have a huge worldwide following on social media. So, encourage staff not to engage in activity or express views which if recorded could cause your company reputational damage.

For more information check out the Business readiness guideGetReadyGlasgow-BusinessReadinessGuide2021.pdf (

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