Scotland an active player in global action over climate change – Nicola Sturgeon

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Scotland needs to do more than meet its own ambitious emissions targets to help tackle climate change, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

As well as tackling reducing emissions at home, she also stressed the importance of efforts to combat the problem on a global scale.

The First Minister spoke ahead of an address to politicians at this year’s United Nation’s climate change conference in Bonn.

Ms Sturgeon will join a panel at the COP23 event also featuring UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, Fijian prime minister and COP23 president Frank Bainimarama, UN climate change convention executive secretary Patricia Espinosa, and the Mayor of Bonn Ashok-Alexander Sridharan.

The Scottish Government is already proposing legislating for a 90% cut in emissions by 2050 – up from the 80% it had originally set as a target.

Ms Sturgeon said: ” Scotland is absolutely committed to tackling climate change and our targets are the most ambitious in the UK.

“But it is not enough to just focus on domestic targets. That is why Scotland is also active in tackling climate change at a global level. We are signatories to the Under2 Coalition to reduce worldwide carbon emissions and are party to the Marrakech Partnership.”

The Marrakech Partnership works to increase cooperation between national and regional governments, business, civic society and others to promote emission reductions and sustainable development.

Ms Sturgeon said: ” International summits like COP23 are vital to tackle climate change and it is an honour to be asked to speak on behalf of the states, regions and devolved governments in the Partnership.”

Acting WWF director Dr Sam Gardner said: ” Scotland has a fantastic climate story to share, and it’s great that it’s being heard on a world stage.

“We can be proud of the word-leading climate legislation unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2009 and the recent commitments in the Programme for Government.”

That included a target for phasing out the sale of traditional petrol and diesel cars by 2032 – eight years ahead of the UK.

But WWF called on the First Minister to go further and set a target for a 100% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

Dr Gardner said: “T he upcoming Climate Change Bill presents a crucial opportunity to renew our climate leadership.

“By setting a target for cutting our greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050 and introducing bold new policies in transport, housing and agriculture we’ll be playing our part in helping realise the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“An ambitious Climate Change Bill will create jobs, improve health and reduce poverty at home, whilst also ensuring Scotland plays its part in helping the poorest people in the world cope with the effects of climate change.”

Ms Sturgeon will speak at COP23 on Wednesday November 15, with Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham also due to address the summit’s sustainable innovatio forum on Monday November 13.