Sturgeon to speak for Scotland at global climate-change summit in Paris

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will represent Scotland at the UN global climate change summit in France, St. Andrew’s House announced today (1 Dec 2015)

She will undertake a series of bilateral meetings and speaking engagements promoting Scotland’s track record of action on climate change in support of an ambitious and legally binding global climate deal in Paris.

As part of the programme, Sturgeon will speak at the largest business focused event held during COP21 and take part in events with The Climate Group.

Scotland this year signed The Climate Group’s Compact of States and Regions, an international reporting platform representing 12.5% of global GDP and more than 325 million people worldwide which demonstrates the collective impact devolved, state and regional governments can have in tackling climate change.

Scottish Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod will also represent Scotland at the conference.

Sturgeon said: “Scotland punches well above its weight in the international effort to tackle climate change. Our world-leading targets set the benchmark the international community needs to match in the years ahead if we are to stand a good chance of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius.

“Scotland offers a message and model for climate action and in the countdown to these negotiations the Scottish Government has been promoting Scotland’s actions on climate change to the international community.

“Scotland is well on track to meet our long term targets ahead of schedule and at the Conference of Parties we will continue to press the international community to look to Scotland and follow our leadership and progress in tackling climate change and moving towards a low carbon economy.”

What is the Paris Conference?

The 21st UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) Conference of Parties* (COP21) is being held in Paris until 11 December and its aim is to agree the first truly global agreement to tackle climate change.

Who (else) is attending?

Over two weeks, around 130 Leaders (including the Prime Minister), environment Ministers and Government officials will be in attendance, as well as a wide range of representatives from civil society and business. Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Amber Rudd will lead the UK delegation.

What are the prospects for a deal?

The UK government is cautiously optimistic and is working hard with other countries to resolve outstanding issues, but it will be a challenging negotiation.

Over 160 countries, covering 90% of global emissions and representing over 90% of the global economy have come forward with their proposed national commitments to reduce emissions (known in the UN as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs).

These are unprecedented and a significant move forward from business as usual.

What does the UK hope to get in a Paris deal?

The UK and EU (who lead on climate negotiations on behalf of EU member states) are pushing for:

  • Ambitious mitigation commitments from all Parties (developed and developing), and a plan to implement them;
  • A mechanism to review mitigation ambition every five years to bring Parties back to the table to further reduce emissions in line with a long term goal to keep the world moving towards the below 2°C goal;
  • A robust, legally-binding rules framework to ensure transparency and accountability around climate action and to help track progress; and
  • Climate finance to support the poorest and most vulnerable countries to take action to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


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