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Sturgeon urges collaboration to tackle climate change

Scotland’s First Minister will speak at the Countdown to COP26 event in London.

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The First Minister will speak at an event in London on Tuesday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The First Minister will speak at an event in London on Tuesday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The First Minister will speak at an event in London on Tuesday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Scotland’s First Minister will use a speech at an environmental conference to call for collaboration in the fight against climate change.

Nicola Sturgeon is due to speak at the Countdown to COP26 event in London on Tuesday – with Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove also set to attend.

The First Minister will stress the importance of meetings such as COP26, which will be held in Glasgow in November, in uniting countries against climate change.

Ms Sturgeon will also use her speech to throw down a challenge to the UK Government to use its upcoming Budget to take “significant steps” in reducing emissions.

The First Minister said: “The journey to becoming a net-zero society is one we must all make together in a fair and just way.

“Reducing emissions to the extent and at the pace required will bring significant change to our economy and society. I am mindful of the opportunities this presents, and the risks.

“This is why I believe events such as COP26 are so important.

“The summit will be an opportunity for countries to find consensus on how we all, collectively, tackle the climate crisis.”

She added: “We realise that creating and facing such change is a truly shared endeavour.

“The Scottish Government will continue to engage with public bodies, businesses, communities and individuals at every opportunity about the challenge we all face.

“In recent days we have once again underlined our absolute commitment to respond to the emergency of climate change – I challenge the UK Government to set out significant steps of its own in its forthcoming Budget.”

St Patrick’s Day celebrations 2018
The Scottish Events Campus will host the conference in November (Sandy Young/PA)

The UN-led summit is due to take place at the Scottish Events Campus between November 9 and November 19.

The former head of the Glasgow conference, Claire O’Neill, criticised both the Scottish Government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson after she was relieved of her post.

Ms O’Neill claimed the Scottish Government had “acted disgracefully” over its booking of the Glasgow Science Centre – on the opposite side of the River Clyde from the venue – for use as its base during the event despite assertions by ministers that the booking only happened after organisers had secured the sites they needed.

The former Government minister and MP also accused the Prime Minister of “heartily and saltily” denying Ms Sturgeon a role in the summit.

PA