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by Andrew Learmonth
20 October 2021
COP26 is 'vivid testimony' to UK government's commitment to Scotland, says Boris Johnson

COP26 is 'vivid testimony' to UK government's commitment to Scotland, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has said the COP26 summit in Glasgow is "vivid testimony" to his government's commitment to Scotland.

The Prime Minister made the remarks in the Commons, as he was pushed on the UK government's decision not to fund a Scottish carbon capture, utilisation and storage facility.

Instead, ministers backed sites built on the Humber and around Liverpool.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, suggested the decision was political.

He told MPs: "In 11 short days, world leaders will gather in Glasgow for COP26. This is our best chance and very likely the last chance to confront the climate emergency faced by our planet.

“That is why it was such a devastating blow that on the eve of COP26, this UK Government rejected the Scottish Clusters bid, to gain track-1 status for carbon capture storage.”

He added: “We know this decision was not made on technical and logical rules. This devastating decision was purely political. Scotland northeast was promised this investment in 2014.

“It is a promise that has been broken, time and time again. So will the Prime Minister finally live up to those promises or are they simply not worth the Tory election leaflets they are written on?”

Responding, the Prime Minister said: “We remain absolutely committed to helping industrial clusters to decarbonise across the whole of the country and, of course, including Scotland, and I know that there was disappointment about the Acorn bid in Aberdeen, and that’s why it has been selected as a reserve cluster.

"There could be no more vivid testimony to this government's commitment to Scotland or indeed to fighting climate change, that the whole world is about to come to Scotland to look at what Scotland is doing to help tackle climate change, and I congratulate the people of Scotland on their efforts.”

Meanwhile, Downing Street has insisted a global agreement on tackling climate change is still possible, despite Vladimir Putin’s decision not to come to COP26. 

The Kremlin announced this morning that the Russian president would "not fly to Glasgow,”. There’s still uncertainty too over whether or not Chinese president Xi Jinping will make the trip to the conference which is due to open on Halloween.

However, No 10 said they still expected "senior" representation from all countries. 

Asked for Johnson’s comments on Putin’s decision not to attend COP26, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “The prime minister has said before that we would obviously strongly encourage leaders to attend, given this is a very critical moment in terms of tackling climate change.

“The prime minister is looking forward to meeting all leaders who have confirmed their attendance, which I believe is over 120 so far. And we obviously expect all countries to be represented at a senior level, given that we're asking for meaningful pledges towards tackling this issue.”

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - Slate wiped clean: SNP's 87th annual conference could be its most collegiate in years

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