COP26: Nicola Sturgeon admits she is pessimistic and doesn't know if climate conference will be a success

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has admitted that she doesn’t know if the UN’s COP26 climate conference will be a success.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain Ms Sturgeon said that she can’t say what the outcome of the summit will be as she doesn’t have a seat at the negotiating table, but she will do everything she can to ensure it is a success.

She said: “The leaders haven’t yet arrived here, they will arrive over the course of the morning and perhaps this time tomorrow we’ll have a better idea of the answer to that question.

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“If the commitments that have been made coming into this conference are the commitments coming out of this conference, this answer will be no.

“So it’s in the balance and leaders have got to step up and increase their scale of ambition if it’s to be a success. We can’t afford failure here.”

She said to Sky News that she shares Boris Johnson’s pessimism of a positive outcome but believes that they need to put that to one side as the UK holds a particular responsibility to bring the world leaders together and encourage them to do more.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast later on Monday morning, the First Minister reiterated her warning that “life on this planet will be unrecognisable” if progress isn’t made and “we’ll all lose.”

COP26: Nicola Sturgeon admits she is pessimistic and doesn't know if climate summit will be a success.

She said: “Businesses aren’t going to be able to trade and make profits, there are parts of this world which will be uninhabitable, even in countries like ours.

"The extreme weather that we’re already seeing is going to get worse.

"This is not about punishing people, this is frankly about saving the planet for future generations.”

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Speaking on the increased carbon emissions associated with the climate summit, Ms Sturgeon said: "I think it’s recognised that we make more progress at these events if leaders can come together and look each other in the eye than would be the case if everybody was online.

"But when you get world leaders, particularly those who need very high security for understandable reasons then there’s a lot of carbon emissions associated with that.

"So what I would say is that all of the travel required to get here, further increases the pressure on the shoulders of world leaders to make sure it’s worth it.”

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