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Cortes travels to COP26 for Gib and OTs

Climate activists protest in Glasgow during the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow. Photo by Dan Barker/PA

The Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change, Dr John Cortes, will be one of the ministers representing the UK’s Overseas Territories at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this week and will highlight how their rich biodiversity is under threat from climate change.

Dr Cortes, who is the chair of the who UK Overseas Territories Environment Ministers’ Council, will attend for both Gibraltar and as one of the delegates representing the other territories unable to have their delegate there in person.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

In Glasgow, Dr Cortes will participate in a session titled ‘Environment in Education’ and will be speaking at an event called ‘Nature Day’ on Saturday.

The Overseas Territories will be publishing a joint statement on the environment that day too, while Gibraltar’s own Climate Change Strategy will be published during the course of COP26.

“I am very pleased to see John Cortes attend COP26,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“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.”

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