COVID security measures are being explored to ensure the Cop26 climate conference can take place in-person, the president of the Glasgow summit has said. 

In a speech at Whitelee Windfarm, Alok Sharma said he has "always championed the need" for a physical event. 

He said authorities are planning for a physical summit but ensuring the safety of delegates and the local community will be "paramount". 

Cop26 will bring together climate negotiators from 196 countries as well as businesses, experts and world leaders at the SEC from November 1-12.

Mr Sharma said it will be "our last hope" of limiting global warming to 1.5C and insisted coal must be consigned to history. 

He said: "I have always championed the need for a physical COP. 

"The desire for one is what I've been hearing loud and clear from governments and communities around the world. 

"So we are planning for a physical summit, where ensuring the safety of delegates and the local community will be paramount.

"Along with our colleagues in the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, public health bodies and the UN, we are exploring every possible Covid security measure, and that includes testing, vaccines and other measures to keep COP26 Covid free.

"In due course, we will share our plans so that delegates coming to Glasgow, and indeed the whole of the British public, have confidence in COP26 going ahead safely, allowing us to seize the moment."

Elsewhere, he warned of a "scale of global catastrophe the likes of which the world has not seen" unless action is taken.  

He added: "We must demonstrate the same urgency in tackling climate change that we are showing in fighting the coronavirus."

He said this is the "decisive decade". 

A full member of Cabinet, Mr Sharma was appointed president for the conference by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January.

He said Glasgow "must be the Cop that consigns coal to history".

Kate Blagojevic, head of climate at Greenpeace UK, previously welcomed Mr Sharma's commitment to the 1.5C goal but said more action was needed.