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World must take radical action on climate, warns Yousaf ahead of Cop28 summit

Humza Yousaf is set to attend his first Cop conference as First Minister (PA)
Humza Yousaf is set to attend his first Cop conference as First Minister (PA)

Scotland’s First Minister has urged world leaders to take radical action on climate change ahead of Cop28.

Humza Yousaf is set to warn the planet is at a “tipping point”, as he arrives in the United Arab Emirates for the global climate conference.

He will emphasise Scotland’s commitment to calling for loss and damage funding for vulnerable communities and impacted nations.

Mr Yousaf is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with international leaders to hear their priorities for climate action.

Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan will also attend half of the conference, with a programme focused on showing Scotland’s progress in transitioning to net zero and working with renewables and hydrogen industries.

Speaking ahead of his first Cop conference as First Minister, Mr Yousaf said: “Our planet is at a tipping point, radical and ambitious action is needed to limit global warming to 1.5C.

“The gathering of the global community at Cop28 is pivotally important in the fight against climate change. Only by working together can we met the need and urgency of the task that lies ahead.

Humza Yousaf
Humza Yousaf said ‘radical and ambitious’ action is needed (PA)

“Scotland has demonstrated that we can lead the way on taking tangible steps, however collective action is needed to tackle the climate emergency and addressing the devastating effects of climate change, in particular loss and damage.

“We simply do not have time to work alone when it comes to our just transition to net zero.

“During the next two weeks, the Scottish Government looks forward to sharing our net zero progress, showcasing our strides in sustainability, and engaging in meaningful dialogue on climate action.

“Cop28 also allows the Scottish Government to advance international relations and build partnerships. Scottish companies will be attending to enhance Scotland’s global reputation, particularly on renewable energy. It’s also an opportunity to attract investment in strategic net zero sectors in Scotland.”

Mike Robinson, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, urged the First Minister to continue to press other nations to follow Scotland’s lead.

He said: “It is more vital than ever that Scotland continues to play a role in demonstrating leadership on the world stage and pushes ahead with action at home.

“The First Minister has confirmed his commitment to strong climate action, but we are yet to see this translate into sufficient investment in the actions needed to reduce emissions quickly and fairly here in Scotland.

“In addition, we want to see Scotland bolster the leadership it has shown at previous Cops by committing to raise new money for climate finance by making the biggest polluters pay, backing the development of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, and raising global ambition on the need to deliver a just transition.”