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First Minister says Prime Minister not taking climate change seriously

First Minister says Prime Minister not taking climate change seriously

The First Minister for Scotland has accused the UK Prime Minister of not taking climate change seriously and said he has “not seen” any impact the UK Government has had on the summit.

Speaking to the PA news agency in Expo City, Dubai, Humza Yousaf criticised Rishi Sunak for allegedly having spent more time travelling to and from Cop28 than he spent at the event.

On Monday, he said: “If you want to see a demonstration of Rishi Sunak’s seriousness of attacking the climate crisis, the fact that he was Cop28 for I think all of around eight hours shows and demonstrates how seriously he takes climate change.

“In fact, he spent longer on the private jet here and back than he did actually at Cop28.”

Asked if the UK Government has had any impact on the summit, the First Minister responded: “I haven’t seen it. If there is any impact I haven’t seen it.

“I’ve met world leaders, I’ve met heads of government, I’ve met ministers, I’ve met the civic society – I’ve had many meetings, pushing the parties here to go further and not any of them, I have to say, have mentioned the UK Government’s contribution or actions.”

Cop28 summit
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking to the media during a press conference at the Cop28 summit (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He added: “The one thing I do welcome from the UK Government, is it’s committing money towards loss and damage. I think that’s positive.

“Beyond that, I have to say I’ve not seen much from the UK Government.”

Mr Sunak was questioned about his relatively short attendance at Cop28 during a press conference during the summit on Friday.

He responded by saying he would not measure the impact the UK Government has had on the event “by hours spent” and instead “would measure it by the actual things that we’re doing that are making a difference”.

He also said he is confident that what the UK Government has achieved at Cop28 is “significant”.