Minister Cortes to participate at COP26

Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change John Cortes will be travelling to Glasgow this week to attend COP26, the Global Summit on Climate Change, as part of the UK Delegation. As well as representing Gibraltar, Prof Cortes, who is Chair of the UK OT Environment Ministers’ Council, has been one of the delegates selected at a meeting of the Environment Ministers of all the Territories to represent the UK Overseas Territories at the Conference.

While in Glasgow the Minister will, among other engagements, take part in a session on Environment in Education and will be talking at an event on Saturday, which has been designated ‘Nature Day’. Also on Saturday the Overseas Territories will be publishing a joint statement on the Environment, while Gibraltar’s own Climate Change Strategy will be published during the course of COP26.

Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change, the Hon Prof. John Cortes, said; “I am looking forward to joining the discussions in Glasgow on behalf of Gibraltar and I am honoured to also be representing friends and colleagues in other Overseas Territories, with whom I have worked closely over many years. Being surrounded by sea, and many being in tropical areas and subject to severe weather events, the OTs, like other island states, are directly threatened by Climate Change, much more so than mainland UK. The OTs also collectively hold approximately 95% of the biodiversity on British soil. It will be important to network with others and also to update information on new green technologies as well as promoting Gibraltar’s intention to access Green Finance opportunities”.

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said: ‘I am very pleased to see John Cortes attend COP26. He is the right person to represent Gibraltar there. He has been a leader in this field for years and will be amongst many kindred spirits when working across the international divides to arrest climate change. I am particularly proud that, in his capacity as a member of the OT Environment Committee, John will not just be representing Gibraltar at COP, but also some of the Overseas Territories who will be unable to attend.’