Ministers are pressing ahead with preparations for the UN climate change summit in Scotland despite fears it could become a Covid super-spreader event.
Around 30,000 people from more than 200 countries were due to attend the COP26 conference in Glasgow in November, which is tasked with finalising rules for the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
But many developing nations are struggling to secure access to vaccines, prompting concerns over whether their delegates will be able to attend.
Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has said she will not be there unless developing countries were given access to vaccines. Less than 1% of people in low-income countries have so far received a vaccine, compared with a global average of 20%.
The UK Government said: “The summit team is closely monitoring the Covid situation, and exploring what different scenarios might mean for COP26 and how we plan for that, whilst putting the health of the participants and the local community first.”
The UK Government has said it will offer vaccines to delegations but has not given details of how it will do this.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “all possible Covid security measures are being explored” and that vaccination and test and protect “will be key”.
She also said that there were “significant” public health challenges but that there was an “urgent and overriding need” to agree action to tackle climate change.
On Thursday UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa said that COP26 was a “credibility test” for the fight against the climate emergency.
But Antigua and Barbuda ambassador Diann Black-Layne, representing the Alliance Of Small Island States, said the road to COP26 “remains nebulous” and that Covid-19 “remains a serious concern for many of us”.
The 44-member alliance previously said that an in-person COP26 was a “red line” and that it “will not be a fair cop if we do not have full participation, in person”.
Alok Sharma, president-designate of COP26, has said the summit should be the “most inclusive COP ever”.
COP26 was due to take last year but was postponed until this November due to the pandemic.
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