SNP MEP Aileen McLeod has used her maiden speech in the European Parliament to discuss Scotland's 'worldleading' climate change targets.

McLeod emphasised that Finland has Scotland’s support in pushing for more ambitious climate measures and targets. Finland is taking over the six month presidency of the EU from Romania.

In their Presidency programme they have promised to integrate “climate policy in all sectors” to ensure that the EU leads the world in tackling climate change.

She said: "Mr president, as a new member for Scotland, I congratulate [Finland] on putting climate change at the core of Finland's presidency programme. Given the scale of the climate emergency we face, I hope Finland will push for more ambitious climate change measures and you have Scotland's support in doing so. Despite Brexit, Scotland will continue to play out part in safeguarding our planet for future generations. Scotland is a world leader in tackling climate change and we are presently legislating for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest and for our economy to be carbon neutral by 2040.

"As Scotland's former climate change minister, who also represented Scotland at the Paris talks, I know that we are stronger and more effective by working together for a more sustainable Europe. Mr president, prime minister, colleagues, Scotland is committed to remaining inside the European Union, working with you in tackling the pressing challenges that we face and with that, I wish Finland all the very best for a very successful presidency."

Speaking after her speech McLeod said the "threat of Brexit" has plagued her new role.

She added: “I confess this is tinged with sadness and I have great sympathy for the Finns who have emphasised that Brexit cannot overshadow their Presidency. For Scotland, the threat of a Brexit that the Scottish people have repeatedly rejected jeopardises our ability to work with our European friends. Only by stopping Brexit can we move forward and get on with what needs to be done.”