NICOLA Sturgeon has warned world leaders and negotiators not to leave COP26 unable “to look the next generation in the eye”. 

The First Minister also piled pressure on Boris Johnson, insisting he should consider returning to Glasgow if talks run into the weekend.

It came as Lorna Slater, co-leader of the Scottish Greens and a minister in Ms Sturgeon’s Government, accused the UK of “an absolute lack of leadership”.

Speaking to journalists, Ms Sturgeon said: “I think things are inching forward in a positive direction. I feel slightly more optimistic than I did earlier today, but there’s still a lot to be done.”

The First Minister said it is now all down to “political will, determination and leadership”. 

She added: “If it does go into the weekend, I really think [the Prime Minister] should consider coming here physically.

“If we don’t get a decent, good, positive outcome, the only reason for that will be a lack of political will and leadership, and perhaps only because leaders have just not pushed themselves hard enough and tried hard enough, and that would be just unacceptable.”

In a message to world leaders and negotiators locked in talks, she said: “Don’t fail. Don’t come out of the negotiating room not being able to look the next generation in the eye.”

Ms Sturgeon urged leaders to “stay in that room” until a good deal is reached.

Earlier, Ms Slater described the watering down of fossil fuel commitments in a draft COP26 agreement as “devastating”. 

She said: “It’s all been really watered down. It’s really upsetting.

“The Climate Action Tracker said that the first draft would still allow global heating of 2.4C – that was before it was watered down.

“So we really are calling on the countries of the world to level it up, not water it [down].”

She said the world’s richest nations are “looking out for their own interests”.

She added: “That’s devastating for our friends and neighbours in the global south, and absolutely catastrophic for the small island nations. So I’m really distressed that the global north and the oil and gas producing countries haven’t stepped up and thought globally.”

Ms Slater also launched an attack on Mr Johnson.

She said: “I think the UK has shown an absolute lack of leadership. One of the reasons why the Paris Agreement was successful is because the French Government, in the weeks running up to it, did an on-the-ground diplomatic effort to do the work beforehand so that an agreement could be reached in that two weeks.”

She added: “The UK did none of that. We’ve seen no leadership from the UK at all.

“Boris Johnson says one thing and then gets on a plane to go and have dinner with a climate denier.

“Boris Johnson is not pushing his Government to do anything. He has absolutely dropped the ball.”

In comparison, she said Ms Sturgeon is “really setting Scotland’s place on the world stage”.

She added: “I’m really proud to be part of her Government this week.”