COP26: Nicola Sturgeon says Glasgow's industrial past carries burden to act on climate change

Scotland’s First Minister has urged world leaders to take action at the COP26 climate change summit to “make sure that the eyes of history judge us fairly”.

Speaking at a breakfast reception on Tuesday in the blue zone of the conference in Glasgow, Nicola Sturgeon said the industrial past of the city confers a “particular responsibility to help lead the world into the net-zero age”.

She hosted the reception with the leaders of the UK’s devolved nations and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whom it is understood made a brief appearance and addressed those present.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attends the opening ceremony for the COP26 summit. Picture: Yves Herman/PA Wire
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The meeting was attended by around 40 leaders, including Barbadian prime minister Mia Mottley – whose speech in the conference’s opening ceremony drew praise – and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.

Following the meeting, Ms Sturgeon said: “Glasgow has the opportunity to be a city which helps propel the world into the net-zero age.

“Given our industrial past – an industrial past shared by not all, but many of the countries represented here today – we also have a particular responsibility to help lead the world into the net-zero age.

“As leaders here, you have that weight of responsibility on your shoulders.

“We all bear that weight of responsibility to come out of this summit with a credible pathway to net-zero, so that we do have the ability to limit global warming to 1.5C, but to do that in a way that is fair and just and recognises that responsibility of developed countries to developing countries.

“I’m glad, and very proud, that my home city is playing host to these important discussions and I wish you all well with your deliberations over the course of today.

“Thank you very much for making the effort to be with us here in Glasgow over this very important period – a period I’m sure history will look back on and judge as to whether we faced up to these challenges or not, so let’s make sure that the eyes of history judge us fairly.”

Speaking after the breakfast, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford praised the event.

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He said: “I thought the breakfast was a very good event – it did what we hoped it would do.

“It brought all the leaders of the four nations of the United Kingdom together on a single stage.”



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