Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister: ‘leaders must hear what activists have to say’ on climate

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Prime Minister, is not the formal host of COP26, which opens Sunday October 31 in Glasgow – it is the UK government. But her voice will count during the fortnight of this crucial summit for the future of the planet: the leader, longtime MP for the economic capital of Scotland and leader of the Scottish Independence Party (SNP), has set herself a very ambitious environmental program within the framework of a coalition with the Greens (with a carbon neutrality objective from 2045). She agreed to answer questions from several European newspapers, including The world.

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Prices of stratospheric accommodation, travel restrictions due to the coronavirus: criticism has multiplied regarding the organization of the summit, with NGOs even demanding that it be postponed to allow delegates from developing countries, with restricted access to vaccines, to to participate. “Glasgow is ready, answers Mme Sturgeon. The town hall is helping those who have not yet found accommodation as much as possible and the Scottish government is trying to bridge the gap between developing and rich countries, leaders and young activists. I will receive representatives of indigenous peoples on Saturday October 30 and formally opened the youth conference on October 29. “

Neither the Pope nor Queen Elizabeth II will make the trip to Scotland. Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping will also be missed. “The absence of the queen is disappointing but everyone understands that she needs a rest [elle a 95 ans]. As for the other leaders, let’s focus on those who will be present, a hundred of them will converge on Glasgow, in particular President Joe Biden. “

Thousands of activists plan to step up actions on the spot. “I passionately believe in the right to demonstrate peacefully”, insists the Prime Minister, who forged her independence convictions by protesting, in the 1980s, against the bases of British nuclear submarines. “Leaders need to hear what activists have to say. Because they are not yet doing enough to limit global warming. It is essential that at the end of this COP26, a 1.5 ° C rise in temperatures is maintained. “

Scotland must “build a green alternative”

Quick to criticize Boris Johnson’s Tory government, Mme Sturgeon put some of his reserves on hold during the summit. “Our collaboration within the framework of the climate summit was good and I have no intention of letting politics interfere with COP26: I will do everything possible to make it a success”, assure Mme Sturgeon. The carbon neutrality strategy published by Downing Street in mid-October is however considered too vague by many NGOs: “His level of ambition is welcome”, reacts Mme Sturgeon. “Scotland has set itself carbon neutrality by 2045, because we believe we can go faster [que le Royaume-Uni dans son ensemble, qui reste sur 2050], because of the extent of our forests and peatlands. “

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Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister: ‘leaders must hear what activists have to say’ on climate