COP27: Nicola Sturgeon urged to show leadership at UN climate summit by accelerating emission cuts

Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to use her COP27 appearance to act on reducing emissions in Scotland.

The First Minister will join other world leaders at the climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt next week.

A coalition of 60 environmental groups have urged Ms Sturgeon to build on the international recognition of her COP26 appearance in Glasgow last year.

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While Stop Climate Chaos Scotland welcomed her leadership on calling for more finance and reparations for communities impacted by the crisis, the organisation said domestic emissions must be cut to prevent more harm.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has been urged to use her COP27 appearance to act on reducing emissions in Scotland. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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Mike Robinson, chair of the organisation, said there was a “damaging mismatch” between Scotland’s leadership on loss and damage finance and its failure to reduce its own emissions.

The Scottish Government is expected to release a new paper at COP27 on loss and damage finance, which will outline funds needed to address the impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided by reducing emissions or adapting to rising temperatures.

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It follows the First Minister chairing an international conference in Scotland on the issue last month.

Mr Robinson said: “Right now, there is a damaging mismatch between Scotland’s global leadership on loss and damage finance on the one hand and our failure to sufficiently invest in the actions needed to reduce our own climate credibility on the world stage.

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“We therefore urge the Scottish Government to bolster the leadership it showed at COP26 by saying no to new oil and gas developments and prioritising and managing a just transition to renewables.

“We need to see more Government investment in activities that both reduce emissions and alleviate the cost-of-living crisis, such as cheaper or free public transport, accelerated efforts to insulate buildings and faster development of community energy schemes.

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“To help achieve this, we would also like to see the First Minister use her visit to the talks in Egypt to establish a time-limited, independent working group to assess available options to raise more finance by making polluters in Scotland pay.

“Scotland isn’t an official party to the UN talks, but we still have an opportunity to set a strong and credible example to those who are and demonstrate the leadership on climate the world so urgently needs.”

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It comes as King Charles welcomed world leaders, business figures, environmentalists and NGOs to Buckingham Palace yesterday for a reception ahead of COP27.

Charles will miss the gathering of world figures in Egypt, but was expected to discuss issues around the summit and climate change with those invited to his royal residence.

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Rishi Sunak was among a small group of guests who met the King in a separate room before the main reception was held in the ballroom and the Prime Minister gave a short address to those invited.

In the state dining room were leading figures including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey.

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Earlier this week Mr Sunak reversed his decision to skip COP27, bowing to pressure from activists, his own environment adviser and Boris Johnson.

Despite No 10’s U-turn, the King is still not planning to attend COP27.

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