WHEN the UN’s climate change conference arrives in Glasgow in November, the eyes of the world will be on the city.

COP26 is the 26th UN Climate Change Summit taking place in the SEC campus between November 9 and 20, next year, and more than 30,000 delegates from across the world are expected to attend the event.

I am thrilled that our science centre, as the Scottish Government announced this week, will be “Scotland’s base” for the summit, where we will work together to create a whole series of events on the environment for people and community groups.

In the weeks and months leading up to the monumental event in November, we want to be a hub for all people throughout Scotland to learn about what will be going on throughout the important discussions on the other side of the Millennium Bridge.

Our aim is to work with partners to help as many people as possible understand the issues as governments, industry, civil society and other international organisations attempt to thrash out a deal that adequately responds to the climate emergency.

The environment is an issue that science centres are taking seriously. Last week I attended a meeting of directors of European science centres and this week I was in London to catch up with the bosses of the UK’s other science-themed attractions. In both meetings, climate change and specifically the role of we must play in engaging the public in the issue, dominated discussions.

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For years, Glasgow Science Centre has been providing opportunities for people to learn about how we can create an energy future that is secure, affordable and sustainable within the context of the growing threat of climate change. Our Powering the Future exhibition has been open since 2015 and our touring version was launched in schools this year.

We know that learning about climate change can be a challenge. Even the name itself can often be changed to “climate emergency”, “climate crisis” or “climate breakdown”. There can be some baffling terms used when describing pollution too, including “greenhouse gasses” and “carbon emissions”.

Once you get past this jargon, the hard truth is our climate is changing and we are the cause of it.

The UK Committee on Climate Change state that human activity is the “dominant cause” of global warming since the mid-20th Century. Across the Atlantic, NASA confirms that 97% or more of publishing climate scientists agree that human activity is causing these climate-warming trends.

We also need to act on this now. Just as we were preparing our announcement with the Scottish Government, the UN was reporting that all countries must increase carbon-cutting ambitions fivefold if we are to prevent the world warming by more than 1.5C. Worse still, the World Meteorological Organisation also told us this week that the amount of pollution we are pumping into our atmosphere has once again reached new highs.

There is hope though and some of the solutions could be developed here in the west of Scotland.

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Glasgow is steadily becoming a hotbed for technology and innovation. Incredibly, Scotland’s biggest city builds more satellites than any other in Europe and perhaps our contribution to fixing the climate crisis could come from this new generation of thinkers and innovators.

The Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg is correct when she says, “the climate crisis is both the easiest and the hardest issue we have ever faced” because “we know what we must do”.

However, her consistent message is that adults, particularly politicians, are not listening. How wonderful would it be if her message is at last heard in Glasgow next year?