First Minister urged to match rhetoric with action on climate at COP27 to avoid tarnishing credibility on world stage

  • 05 Nov 2022
  • International, Press Release

As world leaders gather in Egypt for COP27, a coalition of over 60 organisations is calling on the Scottish Government to demonstrate true global climate leadership by rapidly accelerating emission reduction in Scotland.

The First Minister is attending the talks in Egypt, a year after she was internationally recognised for her positive contribution at COP26 in Glasgow on the need for more finance and reparations for communities impacted by the climate crisis internationally.

While Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) welcomes Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership on this issue, it wants this matched by accelerated action to cut domestic emissions to prevent more harm, as fears grow that more targets will be missed.

The Scottish Government is expected to release a new paper at COP27 on Loss and Damage finance – the money needed to address the destructive impacts of the climate crisis that can’t be avoided by reducing emissions or adapting to rising temperatures. It comes after the Scottish Government hosted an international conference on the issue last month. There are strong calls from the most climate-impacted countries for rich nations to use COP27 to finally create a global Loss and Damage Finance Facility, after more than three decades of blocking progress.

Mike Robinson, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: 

“Since Glasgow hosted COP26 we’ve seen two damaging trends: a cost of living crisis made worse by our reliance on fossil fuels, and ever worsening climate impacts, with devastating floods in Pakistan and a drought in the Horn of Africa that’s pushing people towards famine. 

“Meanwhile, the UN’s most recent report undermines claims that last year’s talks kept the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees “alive”. As things stand our chances of limiting the damage to that critical threshold are slipping away fast.

“COP27 must refocus efforts to slash emissions while also dramatically increasing the financial support needed by impacted communities to both adapt to rising temperatures, and to address the devastating impacts of climate-induced losses and damages.   

“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 emissions quickly enough on the other. This risks significantly tarnishing  Scotland’s climate credibility on the world stage.

“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 a managed and 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. 

“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.”