WORLD leaders coming to the UN climate change summit in Glasgow must be prepared to step up their efforts to cut emissions, Scotland’s Environment Minister has said.

With delegates from across the globe taking part in the COP26 summit, Mairi McAllan said their countries must come with the intention of committing to “enhanced nationally determined contributions and climate commitments which reduce emissions”.

She also stressed the importance of using the event, which gets under way a month from now, to ensure that the poorest countries do not end up paying the greatest price for global warming.

Speaking about the Glasgow summit, McAllan said it was the “world’s last and best chance” to fulfil the goals agreed in Paris in 2015, where leaders committed to work to limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.

READ MORE: Police divers search River Clyde in COP26 security operation

November’s gathering “gives as a truly unparalleled opportunity to take the immediate global action we need to tackle the climate crisis”, the Environment Minister said.

“We know climate change is an urgent human rights issue, posing a serious risk to the fundamental rights to life, health and food and an adequate standard of living to communities across the world.

“Delegates must come to COP26 with enhanced nationally determined contributions and climate commitments which reduce emissions.”

The minister spoke out as she addressed the Glasgow Climate Dialogues event, which brought together speakers from a range of different countries in a virtual forum.

Participants, which includes governments, non-governmental organisations, charities and universities from countries such as Malawi, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Uganda, Colombia, Uruguay and Tonga, have agreed a series of recommendations ahead of COP26. These include that developed nations should use the summit as an opportunity to “significantly increase” financial support for the most impacted people and communities.

McAllan said: “For the people facing the worst impacts of climate change, they have to be at the heart of COP26. We know that climate change is the single greatest long-term threat that we face, and we know that inaction will impact us all.

“However we also know that it doesn’t affect us equally and that many who have done little or nothing to cause climate change will often be impacted first and worst.”

Rhoda Boateng, programme co-ordinator, at the International Trade Union Congress, Africa, who participated in the Glasgow Dialogues, said: “The climate crisis reiterates the need for collaboration, to find sustainable and inclusive solutions for climate action.

“By providing a platform to amplify the voices of the global south, the Glasgow Climate Dialogues speaks to the spirit of solidarity which is much needed in combating the climate crisis today.”