NICOLA Sturgeon has promised young people she will do all she can to tackle climate change “no matter how difficult that is” for her personally or the country.

She said Scotland was already tacking action but added “we must do more”.

The First Minister made the pledge, with its implicit warning of pain for society, at the start of Youth and Public Empowerment Day at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

The day is expected to see the biggest protests of the two-week event so far, with the teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg addressing a city centre rally.

Up to 10,000 people are expected to take part in a march leading up to it.

Ms Thunberg has already been highly critical of the summit, calling it the most “excluding COP ever” and a “celebration of business as usual and blah blah blah”.

Ms Sturgeon is due to take part in a series of events in and around COP26, including an appearance at Youngo, the youth arm of the UN’s climate change efforts.

She will join COP26 President Alok Sharma and UN climate change chair Patricia Espinosa to receive a Global Youth Statement setting out young people’s demands for action.

Based on input from almost 40,000 young people, it follows the 16th UN Climate Change Conference of Youth in Glasgow hosted by the Scottish Government.

Ms Sturgeon will also attend an event hosted by the Malala Fund where she will meet Fatou Jeng, a youth climate activist from Gambia, to discuss climate change education and women’s leadership in tackling the climate crisis.

The First Minister said: “Young people across the globe are crying out for change. 

“Today, I pledge to do what I can to deliver that change, no matter how difficult that is.

“In Scotland, we are already acting to tackle the climate emergency, but, as we have heard from children and young people this week from Scotland and round the globe, is it not enough and we must do more.

“To bring about the changes that are so urgently required, it is vital that governments engage with children and young people, encourage their participation and work with them.

“The decisions we make and the actions we take affect them - they have a right to be part of that process. 

“I commit to ongoing and meaningful engagement between the Scottish Government and children and young people just as we have done during COP - to turn being heard into being involved in decision-making and holding leaders to account long after COP26 has ended.”

The overarching aim of COP26 is to turn the 2015 Paris Agreement on limiting global warming to below 2C into hard action that will deliver that aspiration in practice.

There have already been deals on deforestation, methane, coal and global finance.

However campaigners are sceptical that these will be delivered fast enough or fully enough to deliver the radical change needed.