Climate change: SNP and Conservatives are united on Cop26's importance. So why can't they share a platform? – Scotsman comment

30 days to Cop26: Two very different politicians, one Conservative, the other SNP, with the same basic message: the UN Cop26 summit is crucial if humanity is to avoid ‘dangerous’ climate change.

Alok Sharma, a Conservative MP and president of Cop26, said the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had been “really very sobering”.

“What we are ultimately doing is fighting to keep the ambition towards 1.5C alive,” he said, urging countries to set out action plans showing how they will cut their carbon emissions. “The ball is in the court of every G20 country that has not come forward, and we need to see them deliver on their promise,” Sharma said.

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Meanwhile, environment minister Mairi McAllan described Cop26 as the “world's last and best chance” to meet the targets agreed in Paris in 2015. The summit, she said, was “a truly unparalleled opportunity to take the immediate global action we need to tackle the climate crisis”.

Given both McAllan and Sharma were both singing from the same hymn sheet, it would send a strong message about the need for people of different political persuasions to work together on this most serious problem if they and others from their parties were to do so on the same platform.

At present, such is the animus between the Conservatives and SNP that this seems unlikely. However, if we remain obsessed with such relatively petty divisions, we will damage the fight to stop climate change from becoming an existential threat to life as we know it and risk going to our doom, not doing everything we can to avoid it, but squabbling and bickering like fools.

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Alok Sharma, president of the UN Cop26 climate summit, said the world was 'fighting to keep the ambition towards 1.5C alive' (Picture: Sam Jahan/AFP via Getty Images)

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