MORE than 2500 S3 pupils from secondary schools in Glasgow will gather at a special conference during COP26.

Girls@COP26 – The Solutions Are Feminist, held at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), will debate different aspects of the climate emergency with a female twist.

Ahead of the event, some of the pupils who have been helping to shape the conversations being held at the conference, will meet at the Suffragette Tree at Kelvingrove Park in celebration of the International Day of the Girl today.

The series of thematic daily talks have been planned from November 1 to 12 at the city centre university and will be led by local, national and international speakers. A different selection of girls from Glasgow schools will join forces to discuss the global issues around our environment and gender – Sustainable Development Goal 5 – and other female related issues, including health and challenges that can affect women and girls’ bodies.

The Solutions Are Feminist conference, in partnership with GCU and Women of the Word (WOW), aims to influence change and make an impact.

Bailie Annette Christie, convener of wellbeing, empowerment, community and citizen engagement, said: “COP26 is coming to Glasgow, it’s the biggest event the city has ever seen and it is very important because we are in the midst of a climate and ecological emergency.

“Women have been central to climate action both in Glasgow and across the globe, particularly our young women. The events we are holding throughout COP26 centre on our S3 secondary schoolgirls. They will be coming along every day for two sessions where they will discuss a range of themes like climate action, health, culture, fashion and women’s contribution to society with a panel of experts.”

Professor Tahseen Jafry, director of the Centre for Climate Justice at GCU, said: “Women’s voices must be heard at COP26. Climate change is affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.

“Women and girls are on the frontline of the climate crisis. They experience hardship, grief and anxiety, so the impacts of climate change are affecting them both physically and mentally.”

Drumchapel High School pupil Olivia Johnstone said: “To me climate change means that people, animals and plants everywhere are suffering and unless we act now nothing is going to change.

“I am keen to go to an event like this because, not only do I want to find out more about what is happening and how things are going to change, I want to contribute something to it.”