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Soaring prices force Glasgow climate delegates to stay in Edinburgh

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Cop26 summit Glasgow
Cop26 summit Glasgow

Glasgow’s “gold rush” has spread to Edinburgh ahead of Cop26 with locals charging attendees accommodation bills of more than £30,000.

Around 30,000 people are expected to join world leaders at the United Nations climate change event, which will run from October 31 to November 12.

But there is only capacity for about half that number at hotels in the western Scottish city, forcing attendees struggling for accommodation to look at alternative means via websites such as Airbnb and Booking.com.

The cost of a room in Glasgow has skyrocketed, prompting locals to open their homes and cash in. Nightly prices have risen to an average of more than £600 with some properties even listed for as much as £20,000 per night.

Now the fervour has spread to Edinburgh, which is 40 miles east of Glasgow, as summit attendees try to shield their wallets by going further afield.

An examination of prices by the Telegraph reveals many will be left disappointed, however.

On Monday the average price of an Edinburgh room on Airbnb was £315. Some hosts were charging more than £3,000 per night, or £36,000 for the whole conference.

More than 30,000 people will attend the Cop26 summit in Glasgow - Jane Barlow/PA Wire
More than 30,000 people will attend the Cop26 summit in Glasgow - Jane Barlow/PA Wire

A separate search for the same dates on rival Booking.com also showed two-bedroom apartments being offered for almost £12,000 per night. That would cost a visitor £144,000 to stay for the whole event.

Amid what has been dubbed the Glasgow “gold rush”, Airbnb has offered the city’s locals a £100 “welcome bonus” if they rent out their homes during the summit. The San Francisco-based company has also pledged to donate service fees made to environmental charities.

Cop26 is being hosted by the UK Government, which is hoping to convince other nations to commit to more stringent goals to reduce their carbon emissions.

It is being sponsored by a host of major businesses - including Sky, National Grid, Scottish Power, SSE,GSK, NatWest, Reckitt Benckiser, Sainsbury’s and Unilever - with the policing bill expected to reach £250m alone.

On Monday it was reported these companies accused the Government of having “mismanaged” the event and of taking a “last minute” approach to planning.