Scotland’s largest civil society coalition, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), welcomes the Scottish Government’s pledge to publish an indicative Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in advance of COP26, the UN climate talks due to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021. The announcement was made by Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, who described the move as a “clear indication of Scotland’s commitment to joining and leading the international effort on tackling climate change.
While Scotland is not formally a signatory of the Paris Agreement, and therefore is not required to publish an NDC, Scotland’s indicative NDC will have as its headline it’s legally binding target of reducing emissions by at least 75% by 2030, one of the most ambitious climate targets in the world. It will also include a clear pathway to achieve this target based on the forthcoming Climate Change Plan update due to be published in December. This means that Scotland’s indicative NDC will likely be one of the most ambitious and most robust amongst rich polluting countries at COP26. This is an excellent signal of leadership from the country where COP will take place and can play a key role in inspiring other nations to increase their commitment to climate action. World leaders should take note before they come to Glasgow.
NDCs are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and they are vital to global efforts to avert a climate catastrophe. If countries do not commit to ambitious enough NDCs in advance of the talks, the conference may be deemed a failure, and the credibility of the Paris Agreement will be called into question. Glasgow must instead provide a turning point for global climate action.
Everyone has a huge role to play in tackling the climate emergency, and it is vital that states, cities and regions alongside national governments all make commitments to the global effort. It is also essential that countries with high consumption and historically high emissions, like Scotland, and the rest of the UK, do the most to avert further temperature rises, and to alleviate the consequences of climate change around the world. So, in addition to Scotland’s ambitious emissions targets, Scotland’s indicative NDC must also set out financial commitments to support the poorest people globally, who are already suffering the effects of the climate crisis which they did not cause.
When world leaders come to Glasgow in November 2021, Scotland must be ready to say loud and clear that it is time for action to stop the worst impacts of the climate emergency. As host of COP26 we must drive up climate action to protect the poorest and protect the planet for this and future generations.