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Moray politicians have their say at COP26 climate change event in Glasgow

By Jonathan Clark

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POLITICIANS in Moray have had their say at COP26 – the United Nations' climate change conference in Glasgow.

The conference, which started on October 31, will end today after two weeks of talks and negotiations between 25,000 delegates from 200 countries.

The event, being held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, has been deemed one of the world's last hopes in the battle against climate change.

It's six years on from COP21, when the Paris Agreement was signed, and greenhouse gases are continuing to rise. This was the largest COP (Conference of the Parties) event yet.

Moray MP and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: "It was great to be at the largest ever conference held in the UK, which also ranks as the biggest COP gathering in history.

Douglas Ross at the COP26 event.
Douglas Ross at the COP26 event.

"Glasgow hosting this conference was as a result of a strong bid by the UK Government.

"The debates and outcomes from it will be crucial in tackling climate change and accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"It was fascinating to be in the Blue Zone at COP26, where climate experts, campaigners, policy makers and world leaders were debating how to make global progress on limiting the rise in world temperatures in order to protect the future of our planet.

"This has been labelled as the last real chance to tackle this emergency and it was good to be there as Moray’s MP as issues with the environment and climate change are often raised with me by local constituents.”

Moray's SNP MSP Richard Lochhead also attended the event as part of his cabinet role.

Richard Lochhead at COP26 at the start of November.
Richard Lochhead at COP26 at the start of November.

He said: "It was a hectic, fascinating and stimulating week at COP26 in my role as Scotland’s first Just Transition Minister.

"There was huge international interest in Scotland’s plans to ensure that we leave no-one behind and ensure there are good green jobs for our people as we transition to a green economy to meet our 2045 net zero targets."

MORE: Positive Covid-19 test for Richard Lochhead.

Scottish Greens Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess, from Findhorn, joined a Fridays For Future March led by young people in Glasgow, before attending a Global Day of Action protest.

She said: "I was humbled to be able to support the march in Glasgow and was excited to see people across the Highlands and Islands hosting sister events.

Ariane Burgess MSP.
Ariane Burgess MSP.

"I want to do all I can to support and listen to our young people and to indigenous peoples who are the most impacted by the climate crisis.

“For Greens like myself, who have been involved in climate activism for years, there can be a degree of cynicism about the conference.

"Sometimes the very companies that are destroying our planet use COP to launder their image on the world stage.

"It’s especially hard not to view this year as an exercise in greenwashing by the UK government as they prepare to open Cambo oilfield and slash Air Passenger Duty.

“However, I have hope in, and am so proud of, this new generation. I have been honoured to meet some local climate strikers at the Climate March in Forres and during my tour of the region this summer.

"They are grabbing every opportunity with both hands and I want to do what I can to support them."

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