NICOLA Sturgeon has said that a second Scottish independence referendum will "absolutely" go ahead in 2023.

Sturgeon was interviewed by CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour as the world descended on Glasgow for the historic COP26 climate conference.

The American journalist asked the First Minister if a second independence referendum is going to go ahead in 2023.

Sturgeon replied: "Absolutely. That's my plan."

She added that it is "not legitimate" for the Tories to "stand in the way of democracy".

Amanpour asked if the FM will use the courts to get a second independence referendum.

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Sturgeon said: "If we all accept the basic principle of democracy, then talk of court becomes completely academic. I don't want to go to court. This is about democracy.

"It's about letting people in Scotland choose their own future when the time for that is right. That's what I fought an election on earlier this year and won a historically high share of the vote on the back of.

"So Boris Johnson opposes independence – that's perfectly legitimate. What's not legitimate is for him to stand in the way of democracy."

Amanpour said the First Minister must be proud that Scotland is hosting COP26.

Sturgeon replied: "It's a big honour for Scotland to host a summit so important.

"Glasgow is also my home city. So I feel a bit of personal pride in the city that I live in and represent in the Scottish Parliament.

"But I also feel a big sense of responsibility. I'm not directly around the negotiating table. But as a leader, I want to play my part in making this summit a success.

"I think success is in the balance, it's not guaranteed.

"That is an enormous job of work for what would lead us to do here over the next couple of days, if we're not to let down the next generation."

She urged world leaders to make sure "Glasgow doesn't fail" – echoing a similar sentiment from American president Joe Biden.

The CNN reporter then asked the FM about Boris Johnson's comments that the planet would be in great danger if the Glasgow talks fail.

The National:

Sturgeon replied: "I don't think he's wrong. But what I would then say is let's make sure Glasgow doesn't fail. Now, what does success look like?

"Already, I think we've seen expectations lowered a bit, you know, a few months ago, we might have hoped that Glasgow would deliver the hard commitments to actually set the definite pathway to keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees, that's possibly unlikely.

"But we need to try to close the emissions gap, and come out of this summit with a clear process and timescale to completely closing the gap over the next couple of years. Because this decade is critical, if we don't see emissions start to reduce dramatically by 2030, then net zero by mid-century and 1.5 degrees starts to look unlikely.

"And the consequences of that are stark.

"We've also got to see an increase in the delivery of the commitments around climate finance, because the developed world that have done so much to cause climate change and benefited from that, or a big obligation to the developing world to help them make the changes that are required."

Sturgeon also criticised politicians for good talk on climate change, but not enough action.

"I'm really concerned. So I hope there's a bit of underplaying of expectations now in order to overperform over the course of the summer.

"I'm not convinced that is what is actually happening. I think there is a genuine gap between the rhetoric and the delivery.

The National:

"But crucially, it's about increasing the scale of-near term ambition to cut emissions – emissions are still rising globally quite sharply.

"They've got to reduce by about 45% by 2030, to keep that ambition of 1.5 alive. So that's what we've got to focus on now.

"If that gap is not closed completely by the end of these two weeks, what happens after that? That's a big question.

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"Right now, countries are under an obligation to revise their nationally determined contributions every five years. That surely has to become a year, every two years, if we're to maintain any sense of momentum in the early part of this decade."

Amanpour described Scotland's climate targets as "ambitious" but noted that Scotland had missed its recent targets.

Sturgeon said: "Firstly, the context here, Scotland has decarbonised faster than any G20 country in recent years. We are halfway to net zero, we've reduced our emissions already by 51.5%.

"So that's further progress, faster progress than most other countries across the world. We have very stretching and new targets. And in the last few years, we've marginally missed them.

The National:

"So 51.5% reduction against what should have been 55%. So put that in some context. We're also legally obliged because of that, to publish catch up plans, and overperforming years to come.

"So marginally missing really ambitious targets is not ideal. I don't want to miss the targets. But it's better than not being ambitious in the targets you set in the first place, and don't lose sight of the context of the fact Scotland has already decarbonised faster than most other countries in the world."

Amanpour suggested the UK is "literally running in the face of what we are trying to combat" in terms of action on climate change.

She was referencing comments by Tory politicians, who have voiced their support to continue oil and gas projects at Cambo.

Sturgeon continued: "On Cambo, you know, all countries have really difficult issues. For Scotland, oil and gas is that difficult issue. There are lots tens of thousands of jobs that are dependent on that.

"We've got to make a transition that doesn't leave people on the scrapheap. But we've got to accelerate that transition, we've got to move away from fossil fuels quickly and quicker than we are projected to do so.

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"And Cambo has a licence. It's had a licence for about 20 years. The question is, should it simply get the green light to start drilling for new oil? My answer is no.

"It shouldn't simply get that green light, it should only go ahead... it's not my decision. It's Boris Johnson's decision. But it should only go ahead if it can pass the most stringent climate assessment.

"Now, many people would say it couldn't possibly do that. But right now, the UK Government want to let it go ahead without even doing an assessment like that. And I think that is wrong."