FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged Boris Johnson to stay “as long as necessary” at COP26 until a deal is done.

Sturgeon also said that the draft Glasgow agreement should be the “floor not the ceiling” and urged leaders to go further.

Negotiations at the summit are heading into their final days, with a draft of the Glasgow agreement released on Wednesday morning.

It contains, for the first time, a call for countries to accelerate the phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels.

READ MORE: COP26 LIVE: First draft of major climate pact announced

However, environmental groups have said that the draft is “disturbingly weak” and “riddled with loopholes” which will allow the rich to continue to “avoid their responsibilities”.

It comes as Boris Johnson returned for a one day visit to the COP26 summit in Glasgow, after allegations of Tory sleaze dominated the UK newspaper front pages this week.

But Sturgeon urged Johnson to stay and push for a stronger deal.

She said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s return to Glasgow today, and urge him to stay for as long as necessary until a deal is done.

“As has been the case all along, I will do everything I can to assist and support these efforts.

The National:

Johnson arrived in Glasgow on Wednesday afternoon

“This is a moment that future generations will judge. Either we will be judged to have failed in the face of climate catastrophe or, alternatively, to have taken a decisive step towards sustainability for our planet. It must be the latter.

“In the words of a Marshall Islands minister I met yesterday - 'for countries like mine, we don’t have many COPs left – the time to act is now'.”

Sturgeon also said that leaders should focus on climate finance and the pathway to keeping global warming at 1.5C.

She said: “The draft cover text is a start, but it must be the floor – not the ceiling. The imperative for leaders now – on climate finance and the pathway to 1.5C – is to negotiate the ambition significantly upwards.

“It must not be watered down. It is vital that the world emerges from COP 26 with 1.5C well and truly alive, and closing the finance gap is key to that. It is also a moral obligation developed countries owe to those less developed and most vulnerable to the impact of climate change."

READ MORE: Murdo Fraser admits frustrations with Boris Johnson government as sleaze row grows

Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland, which has been organising protests throughout the summit, particularly against Cambo oil field, said the agreement does not go far enough.

Mary Church, from FoE Scotland, said: "Today's draft COP decision text is disturbingly weak and riddled with loopholes allowing rich nations to avoid their responsibility for reducing emissions and providing finance to developing countries.

“The Glasgow COP is doomed to failure if this cover decision is allowed to pass.”

Church added that there were concerns over the term Net Zero being used as a “smokescreen by those who want to delay action”.

She added: "Instead of concrete plans for a fair, fast phase out of fossil fuels, and new public finance for a just transition to renewables, we get climate-wrecking business-as-usual.”

Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan said it was “not a plan to solve the climate crisis”.

She said: “It’s a polite request that countries maybe, possibly, do more next year.”

Christian Aid’s Kat Kramer said it was a “historic moment” with the first outlines of the phase-out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies, but said there was lots of work to be done on finance for poorer countries.

Bob Ward, from Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, added: “This draft includes all the key elements of a successful outcome, but there needs to be more ambition and more precision.

“We need countries to agree to return every one or two years with more ambitious pledges. We also need stronger evidence of action to deliver the pledges.”