COP26 President Alok Sharma said he is confident the international climate change talks will be able to go ahead in Glasgow despite high Covid levels in Scotland.
In less than a month, world leaders and delegates from 196 countries are expected to arrive in the city for the biggest diplomatic meeting on UK soil since the Second World War.
Mr Sharma told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show he is “confident” that a “physical COP26” can go ahead as planned.
His remarks come amid a growing NHS crisis in Scotland and high levels of Covid-19 cases across the country.
The COP26 President said: “What’s vitally important is that the people who are coming are safe but also the people of Glasgow are safe.
“So there is a whole set of measures we are putting in place in terms of daily testing regimes, in terms of social distancing, in terms of wearing of face masks at the venue.
“We have made the offer to accredited delegates who wouldn’t be able to get vaccinated in their own country to get vaccinations and we are rolling that out now.
“I am confident that we will have a safe event.”
‘We want China there’
Mr Sharma said he is “very, very hopeful” that China will send a negotiating team to the conference although Chinese President Xi Jinping has yet to confirm that he will attend.
Earlier this week, the UK, US and Australia set up a trilateral security partnership aimed at confronting China, which will include helping Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines.
He told Andrew Marr: “President Xi Jinping would come for the world leaders’ conference which is the first two days of COP26. But of course we want China there as part of the negotiations.
“I do feel that they will come for that. I certainly expect that China will send a negotiating team to Glasgow.”