WITH only two-weeks left to go until COP26, chaos looms over Glasgow as it gears up to hosts thousands for the UN climate summit.

More than 100 heads of state and 30,000 delegates will flock to the city on October 31 to attend the conference, and all of them will be discussing the worrying changes that face the world's environment.

The climate talks have been held nearly every year for three decades, but this year they take place in Scotland in what is the most anticipated event in its existence as the world faces devastating climate change.

Governments from across the globe will attempt to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emission, and all countries will be treaty-bound by the agreements which will take place in Glasgow.

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However, with the world’s eyes on the city, its local residents and commuters could be left with severe disruption as it transforms to accommodate visiting leaders and delegates.

Road closures, protests and industrial action will hit the city in what could be a chaotic two-weeks.

The event is large enough and nearly impossible to fully keep a track of. So, in an attempt to simplify things, here is the key things you need to know about COP26 and how it may affect you if you live in or travel through Glasgow.

COP26 road closures in Glasgow

Traffic pandemonium looms as ‘unique challenges’ will be faced by the city’s travel network, its commuters and the residents of Glasgow. Major roads and dual carriage ways will be shut for nearly the entirety of the climate crisis talks.

The major roads set to shut are:

  • Congress Road - Closed October 10 - November 17:
  • Congress Way: Partial closures  and lane restrictions from October 17. Full road closure October 24 - November 21
  • Clydeside Expressway – Partick Interchange to Anderston (Junction 19): Closed from October 23 - November 15.
  • Clyde Arc and Lancefield Quay: Road closed from October 23 - November 15
  • Minerva Street – West Greenhill Place: Road Closed from October 28 - November 13.

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Find out more details about the road closures here.

On top of the major Glasgow roads being shut, there have also been fears of M8 closures which will cause heavy congestion for those travelling between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

US President Joe Biden and the Queen are both staying in the capital for the summit. The M8 is already one of the busiest motorways in the UK, and VIPs will be escorted off the motorway at a dedicated junction (19) joining the Clyde Expressway which is reserved for COP26 traffic.

Rail, refuge and school strike action

Further disruption is expected as it was announced that Glasgow’s refuge collecters and members of the GMB union voted in favour of industrial action during the summit, meaning the city’s bins may be left untouched when thousands of people visit.

Chris Mitchell, of GMB, called on the Scottish Government and Cosla to take more action.

Speaking with members of Glasgow’s Bridgeton and Queenslie depots gathered behind him, he said: “We have a clear message to the Scottish Government and Cosla.

“We were called Covid heroes and essential workers.

“This is when low-paid workers take a stand against Cosla and say enough is enough, because these heroes here deserve a pay rise.

“Stand with us, not against us.”

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READ MORE:  Glasgow rail and bin strikes set to bring severe disruption during summit

Meanwhile, as expected rail services will also be on strike causing further travel headaches for commuters in the central belt. ScotRail workers will strike from November 1 to 12 amid a dispute over pay and conditions.

There have been numerous strikes for weeks by the rail network, and most had hoped it would be resolved by now.

However according to RMT general secretary Mick Lynch, the workers have been left with ‘no option but to put this action on’ during the summit. They put the blame right on the front door of Abellio, Serco and the political leadership at Holyrood.

Elsewhere, school staff in Glasgow are among the latest COSLA employees to join in on potential strikes during COP26.

Janitors, cleaners and catering staff have sided with binmen and cleansing workers and have voted to take industrial action on November 1.

The employees have vowed to down their tools during the climate summit unless the national employer improves their pay. 

What COP26 protests are taking place?

Widespread and mass protests will also be another factor causing chaos in Glasgow. Activists from all over the UK will be in attendance and Extinction Rebellion activists have already warned ministers to be “very worried” by their campaign.

Activists will be aiming to heap pressure on world leaders and delegates to ensure they take the necessary action to properly tackle the climate crisis.

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READ MORE: When and where are protests taking place in Glasgow?

Press Officer for the COP26 Coalition, Mim Black, told the Herald: “We are expecting about 50,000 to 10,000 people to be involved in a march through the city, then a big rally. There will probably be the same amount in London and maybe more and around the country we will see spread out smaller protests.”

“Without protests, the political will to act isn't there. Throughout history, any political gain or any human rights gain we've ever had, is because of protests.

“When decisions are left in the hands of powerful and rich, they often don't make decisions that are best for the people, and we want to put pressure on them to make the right decisions.”

Who will be at COP26?

Thousands are expected to be in Glasgow and there are quite a few notable names in the mix.

More than 100 heads of state and 20,000 delegates will be there, but there are also some familiar voices for climate justice set to attend with the like of Sri David Attenborough, and Greta Thunberg coming to Glasgow.

World leaders and heads of state attending COP26 are President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the Queen, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and many more.

The Herald: Joe Biden

READ MORE: Calls to ban Iran's president from COP26 over 'mass murder' claims

The Pope was also due to be there but last week the Vatican announced he will not attend. Instead, the Vatican City will be sending Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Secretary of state.

Controversy loomed as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was also said to be coming to Glasgow. However, there have been calls for action to ban him from the talks from the likes of Nicola Sturgeon, Boris Johnson and the UK’s foreign and home secretaries, as President Raisi has been accused of "mass murder".

How long will COP26 last?

COP26 will officially get underway on October 31 and conclude on November 12.

Before the talks in Glasgow, several world leaders will be paying a visit to Italy for more climate crisis discussions in the G20 summit taking place a day before COP26 begins.