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Published on 23 September 2021

There are shoes piled high in the hallway and little piles of cast-off clothes strewn along the stairs.

The sink is full of porridge dishes even though it’s lunchtime, and the cats are prowling at the back door waiting for prey. Mice and birds beware.

In a couple of hours, when the school day is over, my three sons will stampede through the door and throw themselves across every soft furnishing, their less than fragrant feet betraying their whereabouts.

Despite all this lived-in-ness, we are going to turn this home into a hotel come November.

COP26 Human hotel – how does it work?

Thousands of homes in Glasgow and across the central belt, will be opening their doors to a COP26 delegate next month at COP26.

We signed up as hosts at the COP26 Homestay Network website and set up a profile which describes who we are and what sort of accommodation we can offer. We were able to choose whether we might provide meals and how much to charge per night. 

Within a week, a German interpreter enquired about staying with us. We also had enquiries from a Buddhist member of Extinction Rebellion, a young woman from India representing the Global Youth Movement and a human rights lawyer from Gujarat.

But with hotel accommodation as rare as hen’s teeth, many more people find themselves on the waiting list for somewhere to stay.

Hearing global voices

Across the world, extreme weather has the greatest impact on those who have done the least to cause it.

They are farmers and fishermen, teachers and pupils. They are people like you and me but the climate crisis has forced them away from their homes to find higher ground and new jobs. They are smart and adaptable and resilient. And any commitments on climate must not be made without them.

When COP26 comes to Glasgow in November, decisions about climate justice will be made or denied or delayed. But while the discussions in Glasgow may be often beyond our ken, those of us who live here have a choice. We can sit on the edges of this moment, or we can live in the middle of it. We can abdicate our responsibility to the decision-makers, or we can welcome into our homes those whose daily lives are impacted by the climate crisis.

Host a change-maker

From 5-8 November, faith leaders, climate campaigners, dreamers and holy change-makers will come to Glasgow.

Over that weekend, we will all take to the streets to speak up for those who cannot be here.

Our guest arrives at the start of November. The boys and the cats will continue to lounge and prowl. We will carry on with work and school as usual. There will be no room service or turn-down team at this boutique hotel. But the door will be open and the room will be cosy and the chat – oh the chat – will be mighty.

Can you help ensure that there is a room in the city for one more change-maker? Let’s stand together, let’s stay together. Join the Human Hotel. 

Leanne Clelland portrait

Leanne Clelland is Communications and Content Officer for Christian Aid Scotland. She is also a freelance writer, leader at a Glasgow church and runs a busy house!