NICOLA Sturgeon is still set to attend the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, the Scottish Government has announced.

The news came on the same day Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced he would not be attending the climate conference, citing the need to deal with domestic issues.

Sunak has been heavily criticised by opposition parties – and those on his own benches – for missing the major event.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “Given the vital importance of governments working together to tackle climate change, it is the First Minister’s intention to attend Cop27.

“Details of the ministerial programme are currently being finalised.”

READ MORE: COP26: Nicola Sturgeon hailed as the 'true leader' at climate summit

The Prime Minister's snubbing of the international conference came as a new UN report warned the world is on track for "climate catastrophe" and detailed how far off track nations are on cutting global warming pollution.

Current climate policies put the world on track for warming of 2.8C and plans countries have set out for action in the next decade would lead to long-term temperature rises of 2.4-2.6C, which UN secretary general Antonio Guterres labelled as “economy-destroying levels of global heating”.

The time for incremental changes is over, and “only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen warned.

But despite the scientific warnings, Sunak defended prioritising "depressing domestic challenges".

The Government’s environmental credentials were also being questioned after admitting it would miss the deadline to set flagship targets on cleaning up waters and boosting biodiversity.

The Prime Minister insisted he is “personally committed” to tackling the climate crisis.

Conservative former culture secretary Nadine Dorries said Sunak is “wrong” not to attend the Sharm El-Sheikh summit, saying global heating is the “biggest crisis facing our planet”.

The National:

But Sunak insisted it is “right” for him to instead focus on the UK economy in talks with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ahead of their autumn budget on November 17.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to a south London hospital, the Prime Minister said: “The leadership that we have shown on the climate is unmatched almost along the world.

“It’s important to me that, as Prime Minister, we leave behind an environment that is better for our children and grandchildren. I’m very passionate about that. I’m very personally committed to it.

“I just think, at the moment, it’s right that I’m also focusing on the depressing domestic challenges we have with the economy.

“I think that’s what people watching would reasonably expect me to be doing as well.”

READ MORE: Julia Hartley-Brewer claims climate change is 'complete nonsense' on Question Time

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey sought to defend Sunak by arguing he will show “global leadership” rather than attending “just a gathering of people in Egypt”.

Coffey suggested the conference is not one of the “big political summits” despite US President Joe Biden being expected to attend.