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Volume 685: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2020

The Secretary of State for Scotland and I have frequent discussions with colleagues on the opportunities for COP26. That includes through the COP26 devolved Administration ministerial group, which brings the COP president, territorial Secretaries of State and devolved Administration Ministers together to ensure effective engagement and collaboration on COP26 and net zero.

I am exceedingly grateful to you, Mr Speaker, for allowing the Minister to answer the question.

COP26 in Glasgow, as the Minister knows, is no ordinary summit. It is a huge opportunity to set the global agenda we need to tackle the climate emergency, but in my opinion the Government have so far not afforded it the attention and weight it requires. That has to change—urgently, I would argue—to make the summit the success the planet needs it to be. Cutting overseas aid has had a devastating effect on countries on the frontline of the climate emergency. That will undermine our role as hosts of COP26, as well as our international standing and moral authority around the world. What steps is the Scotland Office taking to ensure that, as hosts of COP26, we are leading by example and not turning our back on those who are living on the frontline of the climate emergency?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question. I point out that we will still be one of the world’s largest net donors to the most deprived communities around the world. That commitment remains absolute. We will be working over the next months to ensure that COP26 in Glasgow is as big a success as it can be. We will lead the global climate change agenda and I can think of nowhere better than my home city of Glasgow to be the showcase for that. There are lots of partners, from very small local companies right up to big multinationals, who will be playing a part. My colleagues and I will be engaging with them very much over the next few months.