Glasgow is at the heart of ground-breaking talks about the role of cities in tackling the climate crisis, as the world gathers for COP28.

The critical roles cities and local leaders must play in reducing emissions and driving national and international efforts to make communities climate resilient are becoming increasingly understood – and have been a major feature of discussions at the global climate conference, which was hosted in Glasgow in 2021.

Earlier today, council leader Susan Aitken – leading the Glasgow delegation – outlined the city’s plan to be one of the first to put forward a major net zero investment programme to the capital markets.

She said: “We talked at COP26 about the fact that nations make pledges, but it is cities that will actually push forward and take the kind of action that is necessary to deliver on those commitments.

“These events have been perfect examples that people – and crucially investors – are beginning to understand that role.

“Glasgow is taking its place among cities from every continent that are not only leading on climate action, but a just transition from an old economy to one that recognises that economic success, social justice and sustainability are indivisible.

“We have lots to learn from our partners, but we have a lot to offer cities across the world too.”

This morning’s event, hosted by KPMG and the Cities Commission for Climate Investment (3Ci) focused on breaking down barriers to securing finance to decarbonise cities – and Cllr Aitken appeared alongside finance specialists and leaders from Bristol and London.

Glasgow has already published its ‘Greenprint’ – a prospectus of major investment-ready projects that will help the city meet its environmental goals.

And early in the new year, it will bring forward plans for its own green funding model in a bid to secure massive investment in a climate resilient future – targeting innovative partnerships capable of delivering large-scale interventions in everything from energy systems and transport to buildings and biodiversity.

Cllr Aitken said: “These are very difficult times for UK cities, both socially and economically – but Glasgow is determined to be a leader in the just transition to a new, green economy.

“We want to make Metropolitan Glasgow the most resilient, diverse and innovative regional economy – and improve life chances and opportunities for all Glaswegians.”

Two years after welcoming the world to Glasgow for COP26, Cllr Aitken has been a main speaker and panellist for a diverse range of events at the Dubai conference – appearing alongside city leaders from Karachi, Melbourne, Malmo, Barcelona, Freetown in Sierra Leone and Barranquilla, Columbia.

This year’s event began with a Local Climate Action Summit, hosted jointly by the COP28 Presidency and one of Glasgow’s key partners, Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Among its aims are a transformation of climate finance and investment in green infrastructure – major themes in Glasgow’s own plans for climate resilience.

The Council of European Municipalities and Regions hosted talks for elected mayors and city leaders, examining ways in which leading cities can encourage national leaders to follow their examples.

Cllr Aitken addressed an audience of around 400 international business and political leaders at a Resilient Cities event – making the case that Glasgow’s net zero journey is based on a clear understanding that a more resilient city can only be built on the foundations of a more just and equal one.