Stay at Cop26 for as long as it takes to get a deal, Sturgeon urges Johnson

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The First Minister spoke to journalists at Cop26 in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
The First Minister spoke to journalists at Cop26 in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Scotland’s First Minister has urged Boris Johnson to stay in Glasgow “as long as it takes” to get a deal at Cop26.

The Prime Minister returned to Glasgow on Wednesday as the draft text of a potential climate agreement was published, calling on countries to set out more ambitious environmental goals in the next year.

Speaking to journalists, Nicola Sturgeon said the Prime Minister should not return to London ahead of the end of the conference on Friday, as well as saying she would do anything needed to get a deal over the line.

In a message to Mr Johnson, Ms Sturgeon said: “Stay here for as long as it takes until we get the deal that must be done in Glasgow to where it needs to be.”

We are at a pivotal moment in history right now, the future of the planet is at stake

Nicola Sturgeon

She said the PM should stay the talks to “push this deal as far and as fast as we possibly can”.

Mr Johnson should spend his time, the First Minister said, talking to those “who are perhaps standing in the way of getting a good deal”.

She added: “The draft cover text that has been published this morning must now be seen as a baseline, the absolute objective must be to negotiate the position in that upwards, and make sure it is not negotiated downwards.

“I welcome the fact that the Prime Minister is back today, he knows that I stand ready to do anything and everything to assist these efforts but our focus must now be, for every moment that this summit is here in Glasgow, on pushing that scale of ambition on finance, on emissions as far as we can.”

With the summit due to finish on Friday, Ms Sturgeon said she will support it continuing for longer to ensure a deal of the required ambition is agreed.

Meanwhile, the First Minister refused to be drawn on the growing scandal over MPs’ second jobs following the resignation of Owen Paterson last week.

The Prime Minister returned to Glasgow on Wednesday (Phil Noble/PA) (PA Wire)
The Prime Minister returned to Glasgow on Wednesday (Phil Noble/PA) (PA Wire)

“Everybody knows my political disagreements with Boris Johnson but I am absolutely behind him in efforts to get this agreement over the line and where it needs to be,” she said.

“I wish him well as he brings his efforts to bear over the course of today.

“If necessary, he should stay now until the end of this Cop to make sure no stone is left unturned.”

Ms Sturgeon said world leaders are faced with a “massive responsibility” to ensure the draft text is considered a “baseline” and ambitions are not tapered in the final agreement.

She went on to say leaders of developed nations should recognise that responsibility.

“We are at a pivotal moment in history right now, the future of the planet is at stake,” she said.

“Some countries across the world, particularly island nations, are facing existential threat and the leaders of the big, industrialised, developed countries have to recognise the massive responsibility they carry over the next few days.”

The First Minister’s comments came after a meeting with the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the US congressional delegation, which includes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with whom Ms Sturgeon posed for a photo with a can of Irn-Bru.

“A pleasure to meet with @SpeakerPelosi and the US Congressional delegation earlier,” the First Minister said on Twitter.

“We had a good discussion about our shared responsibility to address the climate emergency with urgency – and also reflected on the ties of friendship between (the US) and (Scotland).”

Ms Sturgeon also met members of indigenous communities on Wednesday, and said the £1 million fund from the Scottish Government to help developing countries was “reparation”, not “an act of charity”.

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