Britain has a “moral responsibility” to lead the world on tackling climate change, Michael Gove has insisted, as he claimed the UK Government was “getting on very well” with the Scottish Government ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow this November.

In a speech to open the conference organised by the Green Alliance environmental think-tank looking ahead to the Scotland summit, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said the UK Government believed the United Nations’ sponsored Conference of Parties was important not just because it was hosting it but also “because we believe the UK has a moral responsibility to lead here".

He explained that as the leader of the Industrial Revolution, which powered the change in the climate, the UK now had, under the “first in, first out” dictum, a “responsibility to lead a green industrial revolution as well to show we acknowledge our responsibility, our debt to the planet and our debt to other people".

READ MORE: Boris Johnson 'called Nicola Sturgeon that bloody wee Jimmy Krankie woman' in COP26 row

Mr Gove pointed to not only a greater public engagement for change in tackling the climate emergency but also a wider political engagement.

“So,” he noted, “you have a UK Conservative Government working with a Scottish Nationalist Scottish Government and, whatever their differences, a determination to make this a success.”

Last week, the PM’s launch of COP26 was overshadowed by a direct attack on his handling of climate change by Claire Perry O’Neill, whom he sacked as COP26 President just days earlier.

She claimed Mr Johnson did “not get” climate change, lacked leadership and ambition on the issue and was engaged in “playground politics” in a “complete stand-off” with the Scottish Government.

Indeed, Ms O’Neill made clear how he had “heartily and saltily rebutted” her suggestion of giving Nicola Sturgeon a COP26 role.

Claims that Mr Johnson responded to her suggestion by saying "over my f****** dead body," adding: “I’m not being driven out of Scotland by that bloody wee Jimmy Krankie woman,” were forcefully denied by No 10.

Following his speech, Mr Gove was asked how the UK Government was going to break the damaging stand-off with the Scottish Government on COP26 to which he declared: “We get on very well.”

Asked how the two administrations were going to eliminate the bad political blood, which was undermining the preparations for the climate summit in Scotland, he told The Herald: “I always enjoy working with the Scottish Government. Their ministers are a great team on this issue.”

Asked if the PM did “get” climate change, he added: “Oh, yes.”

During his speech Mr Gove argued the climate talks needed to see greater action by other countries, a recognition of the loss and damage suffered by poorer nations as a result of warming temperatures, the need for climate funding and the role of nature-based solutions.

He said he did not believe that technology alone could "create some sort of Harry Potter wand or Doctor Who sonic screwdriver that will magically absolve us all of difficult choices".

But he argued that setting "stretching but achievable goals" could help engineer scientific and technological changes to meet carbon cutting goals.

At one point, the minister was interrupted as he answered a question on what would count as a success in the Glasgow talks with a member of audience calling out that more was needed than the recognition of the need to act, which first came 20 years ago.

Mr Gove went on to say that a successful outcome would be if "the acceptance of the need to act leads to action which is irreversible, accelerating and inclusive".

The UN climate talks in November are seen as the most important since the Paris Agreement to curb global warming was secured in 2015 with countries under pressure to ramp up ambition on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The run-up to the summit will require a major diplomatic effort from the UK to secure ambitious action from other countries.

UK ministers have been warned that they need to strengthen domestic policies to meet legal goals to cut emissions to net zero by 2050.

Earlier, Mr Gove was met with laughter from the audience when he mentioned who the next COP26 President might be; the fact that he gave the speech at the green conference has led many to believe that, come the Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, the Scot will be appointed COP26 President by Mr Johnson.

He explained as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster he was a “prime ministerial gofer,” who co-ordinated the “architecture and wiring” of the PM’s priorities; one of which was, critically, the successful delivery and outcome of COP26.

READ MORE: David Cameron rejects offer to head climate summit in Glasgow

“What I want to make sure is that this Conference of Parties lives up to the expectations that so many have in this process and which have so frequently been disappointed.” But he insisted that COP26 could indeed see “genuine success”.

But pressed directly if he wanted the President’s job, Mr Gove gave a less-than-enthusiastic response, saying: "I am very happy with the job that I have and there are many, many, many, many talented people who could do the job of COP President better than I ever could."

Ms Sturgeon will close the conference with a speech.