Cop26 president Alok Sharma has said he is confident the Glasgow conference will go ahead in person despite rising Covid cases in Scotland.
Less than a month before the environmental conference is due to take place, the Scottish Government has officially requested help from the army to support Scotland’s ambulance service amid deteriorating response times.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the crisis in the ambulance service is “largely caused by Covid pressure”.
Mr Sharma told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that he is confident the talks will go ahead as planned.
“I am confident that we are going to have a physical Cop26, we are planning for that,” he said.
“What’s vitally important is that the people who are coming are safe but also that the people of Glasgow are safe.”
He added: “I am confident it’s going to be a safe event.”
Delegates attending the conference who have not yet received their Covid jabs have also been offered to be vaccinated, Mr Sharma added.
When pressed about how he is going to handle the thousands of activists planning to protest during Cop26, Mr Sharma said: “People have the right to protest, but they should do it in a way that shouldn’t disrupt other people’s lives.”
Mr Sharma also confirmed that Chinese President Xi Jinping has still not committed to attending Cop26.
The agreement of China, as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is seen as crucial if the talks are to succeed in slowing global warming.
However, Beijing has been infuriated by the new defence pact by the UK, US and Australia – widely viewed as a move to counter China’s increasing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show Mr Sharma said: “On the issue of whether Xi Jinping is going to come, that is not yet confirmed.
“Normally these things come a bit closer to summits.
“I am very, very hopeful that we will have a delegation from China that is coming.”
He added: “President Xi Jinping would come for the world leaders’ conference which is the first two days of Cop.
“But, of course, we want China there as part of the negotiations.
“I do feel that they will come for that. I certainly expect that China will send a negotiating team to Glasgow.”