If there was any doubt that climate change would be an influential topic in Scotland over the next year, the announcement that Glasgow is to be host city for the United Nations Climate Change Summit in November 2020 dismisses it.

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) will bring up to 30,000 delegates and near to 200 world leaders to Glasgow in the next phase of global negotiations on a response to our warming planet. This will be one of the most important gatherings of global power tackling a fundamental world issue and it will be happening in Scotland’s biggest city.

It has been said, as one of the first cities of the industrial revolution that set the world on the path not just to extraordinary growth but also to the despoliation of our planet, that Glasgow is exactly the right city for tackling climate change.

But I would hardly blame the early inventors, industrialists and merchants for consequences they could not possibly have understood 250 years ago, nor would I support the demonisation of businesses and free trade that characterises some of the more extreme language amongst climate change protestors.

If climate change is to be reversed successfully it needs the fullest co-operation of citizens, governments and businesses across the world.

As examples, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce supported the City Council’s recent climate change emergency working group setting the target for the city’s carbon neutrality by 2030; ScottishPower has already made a dramatic shift to renewables and is now committing to a mass roll out of electric vehicle charging across the city; and the Chamber is vigorously arguing for measures to help the development of a circular economy in collaboration with both Zero Waste Scotland and the city council.

Glasgow is also a city of science and innovation. Over the past five years it has consistently ranked amongst the top 100 most innovative cities in the world and the presence of low carbon technology companies is well above global averages. We need our scientists and engineers to develop the technologies that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Where better than for those technologies to emerge from the innovation districts currently being developed by the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow.

COP26 is an opportunity to show just how much Glasgow can contribute both to solving climate change and to laying the foundations for our next phase of economic growth.

Stuart Patrick is chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.