Smith Briefs Europe On Scotland's Climate Change Ambition
"I am proud of the actions Scotland has taken in the fight against climate change, and proud that all parties in our national Parliament rose to the challenge and backed the most ambitious legislation in the world. It is a bitter irony that while Scotland has been praised for its actions in setting robust targets to reduce greenhouse gases, its ministers are denied a seat at the table at Copenhagen.
"It is obvious that this real action being taken in Scotland embarrasses the UK government, which has excluded Scotland from the talks and reduced Scottish government ministers to a side show when they should have been front and centre working with the world community to combat climate change.
"Scotland is not yet independent, so we are not in the talks as of right, but we could be part of the UK delegation and it is shaming that we have been relegated to the fringes for no good reason. The ambitions of Scotland are matched only by the pettiness of the London government.
"I was struck to see the waiting conference hall, with the country badges already set up for Djibouti next to Denmark, the Marshall Islands next to Malta, Swaziland and Suriname next to Sweden, where Scotland would be were we a normal independent state able to make a full contribution. Scotland has led by example, the briefing is the most impressive I have seen and I am so proud of Scotland's real achievements and real ongoing effort.
"For my part, I too will be in Copenhagen milling about on the fringes of the conference doing what I can to help things along. I will take plenty of copies of this briefing with me, and hope that the other countries will match Scotland's ambition."
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