Cop26 climate change summit: Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson should put aside their differences for the sake of the world – Scotsman comment

44 days to Cop26: If true, the suggestion that Boris Johnson plans to exclude Nicola Sturgeon from the United Nations’ Cop26 climate summit would demonstrate a parochial pettiness matched only by the claim that the First Minister hopes to use the conference to promote independence.

Obviously, the future of the Union is one of the biggest issues in Scotland and the UK but, both metaphorically and literally, it is tiny in comparison to global warming.

So it was heartening to hear Alok Sharma, a Conservative MP and summit president, tell MSPs that he wanted the event to be an “all of UK Cop, something that we can all collectively be very proud of… there has always been the precedence that, as part of the UK delegation, we also have representation from ministers in the devolved administrations”.

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How embarrassing it would be if delegates from across the world arrived in Glasgow to find the conference’s opening on October 31 marred by bickering among their hosts.

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CoP26: Summit president Alok Sharma pledges the global event will involve 'all o...

Doubtless, they would seek to get on with the business at hand but, just like a party thrown by a warring couple, the atmosphere would hardly be conducive to a happy outcome.

While no major nation is yet doing enough, as activists like Greta Thunberg point out, the UK and Scotland are both doing better than most. The UK has cut carbon emissions by 44 per cent over the last 30 years, while the economy has grown by 78 per cent.

So we do have a good story to tell, an example to set – as long as we do not allow this to be overshadowed by our ‘little local difficulty’.

Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have fundamental disagreements but they should co-operate to help make the Cop26 climate summit a success (Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

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