Nicola Sturgeon wants next year’s delayed COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to be a “milestone” in the global transition to achieving net-zero emissions.
The First Minister spoke out on the issue as Scotland was formally confirmed as European co-chair of a coalition of more than 200 governments across the planet working to tackle global warming.
Ms Sturgeon will formally take on the role within the Under2 Coalition on behalf of the Scottish Government.
She said: “It is an honour to be asked to serve as European co-chair of the Under2 Coalition. The next 24 months will be a critical time for climate action, with 2020 marking five years since the Paris Agreement and November 2021 seeing the rescheduled COP26 take place in Glasgow.
“I want COP26 to be a milestone in the world’s transition to a net-zero future but for that to happen, states and regions must work together – to press for change, and to turn our own ambitions into actions.”
The First Minister stated: “As the world continues to grapple with the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19 our focus is rightly on saving lives and protecting people’s jobs.
“But amid these enormous challenges, the climate emergency has not gone away – far from it – and we remain absolutely committed to a green recovery and to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045.
“But just as we will ensure a just transition to net-zero in Scotland, we recognise our moral obligation to help set the world on course to net-zero in a way that is fair for all.”
She stressed: “I also want our time as co-chair to ensure inclusion is at the heart of the coalition’s work. Those least responsible for the climate emergency face its worst impacts.
“We must ensure their voices are heard as we work with our partners across the world to ensure no-one is left behind on our journey to net-zero.”
As part of that the Scottish Government is providing £149,000 of funding, which will be shared between the Malawi Climate Leaders project and Women’s Environment & Development Organisation (WEDO).
The Malawi Climate Leaders project will use some of its share of the money to help create a network of young people to be advocates for action to tackle climate change, while WEDO is working to train women from the global south to consider gender issues in major international climate discussions.