Boris Johnson ‘undermining Cop26 president at every turn’

Boris Johnson ‘undermining Cop26 president at every turn’
Susan Aitken said Mr Johnson is ‘only really interested in green infrastructure as something to stick a union flag on and pose beside for a wacky photo op’, reports Ella Glover

Boris Johnson has been accused of “undermining” the Cop26 president “at every turn”.

SNP councillor Susan Aitken said: “Cop26 President Alok Sharma is, I believe, doing his level best to secure a Glasgow agreement worthy of the name, but he’s undermined at every turn by his party leader who’s only really interested in green infrastructure as something to stick a union flag on and pose beside for a wacky photo op.

“But Glasgow, Scotland and the SNP can lead the way, and Cop26 can give us a pivotal moment to do so.

“We know what the prize is: clean air, local food security, an end to fuel poverty, better, cheaper public transport, green spaces for all and sustainable high-value skills and jobs in a resilient modern economy.”

Despite the absence of the Scottish Government from conference negotiations, Ms Aitken said the conference is a great opportunity to put Scotland “in the global front window for sustainability”.

She said Cop26 will allow Scotland to “showcase not only our climate ambition but also our practical plans to lead the world and delivering a just transition to zero-carbon economy and society.”

She added: “Scotland’s climate action, ambitions and policy agenda, our growing international reputation for business and technological innovation, the challenges from our past that we’re overcoming, our incredible wealth of natural assets, I don’t think any other region on Earth has such a platform to showcase ourselves and our ambitions, this year, as Scotland does.”

The council leader said an early estimate of the cost to decarbonise Glasgow was £30 billion but said: “We in the SAP also need to be clear that this is not only necessary, it’s worth it.

“Not only because if we don’t respond to the climate emergency now, the cost later, and not just the financial cost, will be so much higher.

“But also because we understand that, done well, every pound spent on these interventions will also deliver multiple benefits for Scotland’s people and communities.”

The Prime Minister this week also came under fire for secretly dropping pledges to bind Australia to climate targets in its efforts to strike a trade deal.

An email obtained by Greenpeace revealed the move, which included removing a reference to “Paris Agreement temperature goals”.

The leaked email, sent by a senior official, suggested that three cabinet ministers had agreed to “drop both of the climate asks” to get the trade deal “over the line”.

Greenpeace said the concession “rips the heart out of” the landmark Paris aims, while Labour called it “a massive betrayal of our country and our planet”.

A number of activists and politicians criticised the move.

Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow business secretary, said: “With Cop26 round the corner, the government should be flexing every political muscle to ensure the summit is a success.

“Australia is one of the world’s biggest polluters, and key to the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. But rather than piling pressure on them, the government has simply rolled over.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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