Boris Johnson has stated that the COP26 summit in Glasgow will give Nicolas Sturgeon and the SNP a chance to promote an independent Scotland. The British Government wants to prevent the SNP from using COP26 to promote the SNP and independence. James Kelly, Scottish pro-independence blogger, wrote since COP26 is a Scottish-based event and Glasgow is a Scottish city, most Scottish people consider Scotland their country first and foremost. This is why the Scottish public will expect some recognition of Scotland’s moment in the spotlight. The SNP-Green deal directs the prospects of a second independence referendum to the highest priority of the Scottish government’s objectives. Therefore, the SNP can expect to see COP26 as offering a chance to project a positive image of Scotland in contrast to the rest of the UK.
UK Officials’ Visit
Queen Elizabeth II appeared in the Scottish Parliament after 21 years. Experts see the Queen’s presence in Scotland as a sign of the British monarchy’s deep concern over the region’s secession from Britain, which could end Britain’s 300-year strategic alliance with the region.
Accordingly, Scotland’s thirst for independence and secession from England has increased. This issue has prompted numerous trips by British officials and efforts to reduce the wish to secede, raising speculation on whether it would be the World Climate Summit or the threat of secession which will draw the Queen of England to Scotland.
Following Rishi Sunak’s visit to Scotland with the promise of increased aid and investment in the region, and then Boris Johnson’s second visit in six months with similar promises, the highest-ranking British monarch has now visited the area.
Queen Elizabeth II has arrived in the region to inaugurate Scotland’s local parliament. The motives for the region’s secession from Britain have grown dramatically since Brexit. The Scottish people, most of whom voted to stay in Europe in the referendum, are now more determined than ever to consider the region’s independence and join the European Union. The results of the recent elections in Scotland show that supporters of Scottish independence have a significant advantage. Recent polls show that the independence of this region has become a the political demand for most people.
Nicola Sturgeon is now pursuing independence demands with more substantial support. Sturgeon has repeatedly warned London against obstructing a referendum on the region’s independence.
Speaking at the local parliament, 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth emphasised the importance of the region and the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament for a better future for the region. She sought to strengthen the region’s unifying motivations.
“The world is looking at Britain and Scotland at the same time as the summit,” Queen Elizabeth said, referring to the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow which the heads of state will be attending.
With Scotland’s growing motivations for independence, London is now more concerned than ever about the separation of this strategic region from Britain, which will weaken Britain in various dimensions, especially its place in the world. In August, the SNP and Green parties agreed to form a coalition government and paved the way for a second referendum on the region’s independence from Britain.
Marching for Independence
Thousands of Scots marched in Edinburgh, demanding a new referendum on independence. Protesters marched through the streets of the city holding Scottish flags and went towards the parliament. Some carried placards reading “Separation from Britain,” “Independence Now,” and “Hope versus Fear.” A spokesman for the “All Under One Placard” organisers said the Scots did not want to be part of the “poisoned union”, adding: “We are here to send a message to the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the ruling party that we want independence in Scotland. “We do not want to be part of their poisoned union,” he said. This is a racist union, full of hypocrisy and tyranny. They have destroyed the economy, and we want to get out of this unbelievable and terrible connection. We seek secession from Britain and are here today to seek independence from Britain.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently said that Scotland will be ready for a second general election for independence from Britain by the end of 2023.
The Scottish Parliament, which has a majority in favour of independence, can approve and implement the second referendum. Still, a new referendum is subject to approval by the central government in London. Boris Johnson, meanwhile, has vehemently rejected the idea of holding a new independence referendum, repeatedly saying that the Scottish people made their choice in the 2014 referendum.
Edinburgh-London Tensions over COP26
At the heart of Edinburgh-London tensions is usually the issue of Scottish independence, which is supported by half of the Scottish electorate according to recent opinion polls. “The main conflict between the SNP and the Conservatives is over independence, and many other issues are related to the differences between the two parties,” James Mitchell told Al Jazeera.
The British government wants to prevent the SNP from using COP26 to promote SNP and independence.
James Kelly, Scottish pro-independence blogger wrote that since COP26 is a Scottish-based event and that Glasgow is a Scottish city, most Scottish people consider Scotland their country first and foremost. This is why the Scottish public will expect some recognition of Scotland’s moment in the spotlight. The Scottish government has attempted to overshadow the Westminster government with its climate change ambitions.
Laura Moodie, Scottish Green Party activist, said the power-sharing deal shows that Scotland can do things efficiently and differently. Moodie added that, through the deal, a shift in transport spending, expansion of renewable energy, and decarbonisation of heating would be accelerated, all of which are vast sources of greenhouse gas emissions for the country.
Although the UK is the COP26 host country, it is going backwards to respond to the climate crisis. Westminster is investing in several sectors, such as road building, aviation and fossil fuels, which everyone considers an embarrassment going into COP26. Proponents of the union have urged the SNP to focus on its devolved responsibilities and leave COP26 to the UK government.
Sturgeon’s opponents believe that Scotland has the worst drug death rate in Europe. Meanwhile, Glasgow and Clyde currently hold the highest drug-related death rate among all health board areas.
Iain McGill also believes that the SNP needs to continue concentrating on its own competencies and that international relations is the UK government’s forté; competencies that the SNP government is abjectly failing at, like ambulance waiting times; it needs to get on with doing its day job and not look to pretend that it is something it is not on the international stage.
No amount of such opposition will likely prevent Sturgeon’s government from seeking to share the spoils during the 12 days of COP26 talks in Glasgow. Mitchel pointed out that the SNP-Green agreement directs the prospects of a second independence referendum to the highest priority of the Scottish government’s objectives. Therefore it can expect that the SNP see COP26 as offering a chance to project a positive image of Scotland in contrast to the rest of the UK.
While the task for all involved in COP26 is dealing with climate change, many pro-independence activists hope to hold a propaganda coup too, not least in Glasgow itself, where people voted Yes to independence in 2014.
First Minister Play a Key Role
Following reports that the Cabinet Office was seeking to remove Sturgeon from COP26 because it feared it would be an opportunity for Scotland’s local government to attract attention to Scottish independence, COP26 President Alok Sharma told MSPs that the first minister will attend the summit because the British government’s policy is to take an “all-British approach”.
Sharma also pointed out that all the devolved governments have formally participated in the planning of the event through an inter-ministerial committee. He also confirmed that the ministers of the regions will be part of the British delegation to the summit. Sharma added that Prime Minister Johnson wanted all UK first ministers to play an essential role in the COP26 event and be part of a holistic UK approach.
Analysis of Sturgeon’s Views on Fossil Fuels
“We can’t turn off fossil fuels overnight,” admits Nicola Sturgeon. Speaking about climate change before COP26, Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland cannot cut off oil and gas supplies in the short term. The first minister warned that the country should be careful not to “turn domestic production into oil and gas imports“, describing such a move as “counter-productive”. Speaking at a TED talk in Edinburgh ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, the SNP leader again refused to oppose the development of the Combo oil field near Shetland. Sturgeon called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “re-assess” previously approved oil and gas licences in response to weather emergencies.
The first minister said the country should “be careful not to leave people and communities behind in transferring fossil fuels”. “We have to be careful not to turn domestic production into oil and gas imports – it could not work,” Sturgeon said. She added that “How the transition is done is important, but we cannot do business as usual, because if we tell ourselves we can rely on fossil fuels forever, we will never make the transition, and that is our key point we have got to address”.
Liam Kerr, Scotland’s spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, accused Sturgeon of “Playing with the people” because he had asked her to support the controversial development of oil. He added: “Nicola Sturgeon used Scottish oil as a basis for independence. Now she has left the topic to work hard to satisfy his colleagues in the Green Coalition.” He also stressed the importance of small countries’ role in tackling climate change, saying they could act “When larger countries are reluctant to take action”.
Whitehall and Edinburgh officials have been embroiled in tensions over reservations and contracts over planning for a climate change summit in November. Correspondence released to the Scots under the Freedom of Information Act shows that the Scottish and British governments are at loggerheads over who is responsible for booking the venue.
The two governments have formed a troubling coalition since the announcement of the UN conference in Glasgow. Last year, a war of words broke out over the use of the Glasgow Science Centre, a site first reserved by Scottish ministers. The issue erupted after former summit chairman, Claire O’Neill, said a “Complete difference” between the two governments. She accused the SNP government of “shameless” behaviour by placing buildings on the COP26 site and said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson “wholeheartedly” offered his proposal to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for an official role in the summit and was rejected. Ms O’Neill, who now serves on the World Trade Council for Sustainable Development, called for an end to the “Playground policy” that overshadows the largest and most complex event ever held on Scottish soil. Since then, both governments have tried to show a united front, and Scottish ministers have agreed to hand over control of the Science Centre to their British counterparts for use during the conference. But the intense correspondence leaked by the Scottish government shows that the relationship is not very harmonious.
Boris Johnson has warned that the COP26 summit in Glasgow will give Nicolas Sturgeon and the SNP the chance to promote an independent Scotland. World leaders who have invested in tackling the climate crisis will land in Glasgow in the first week of November at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). The United Kingdom hosts this year’s summit, but experts predict that Scotland will attract public attention to gain international support for Scottish independence. Scotland Green Credits promises to be a significant battleground in the struggle for independence, as the government of Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to invest heavily in renewable energy. COP26 is an excellent opportunity for Ms Sturgeon to highlight the work currently being done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net goals.
Anthony Solomon, CEO of European Business, has now said that the Scottish government will improve its executive agenda for European and pro-independence leaders at the summit. He believes that this position was in stark contrast to the “confident and united” image presented to the world by the government in Westminster. “Rising tensions over independence have only increased political risks. The British government wants to reduce Scottish public support for independence,” he wrote in an article for Politico. “Scotland, as an independent agent in COP26 or elsewhere, is seen as contradicting this goal. Britain deliberately chose Glasgow – not to work closely with the Scottish government, but to set an example of British credibility and power.” “In May, the Scottish people elected a new Scottish Parliament,” Ms Sturgeon said. The new parliament has an overwhelming majority in favour of the independence referendum. “As we emerge from the pandemic, decisions will be made that will shape Scotland for decades to come.”