There must be ‘tangible progress’ on climate issues at COP27, says Sturgeon

The Scottish First Minister said there must be “tangible progress” on climate change at COP27.

Nicola Sturgeon attended the first days of talks at the key climate summit in Egypt this week, with Glasgow hosting world leaders last year.

The Prime Minister announced a £5million funding boost on Tuesday to tackle the impact of climate change on developing countries.

Speaking at a New York Times event in Sharm el-Sheikh alongside European Climate Foundation Chief Executive Laurence Tubiana and Liberal International President Hakima El Haite, On Tuesday, the prime minister said the mood at the conference was “increasingly impatient, frustrated and, yes in some quarters, bordering on justified anger”.

“There’s a lot at stake here,” she said.

“It’s really, really important that we don’t allow optimism to be blind faith, because we’re nowhere near where we need to be right now.”

The Prime Minister said the Paris Agreement had come “too late” and the world was “not on track” to meet its upper target of 1.5C.

“The world is on a much closer path to 2.5C – we have to be honest about that,” she said.

The Prime Minister added: “I also think there are real issues around trust and faith.”

Ms Sturgeon said the failure to deliver on the pledge of $100 billion a year to developing countries for climate finance – as agreed at COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009 – has eroded trust in developing countries.

She also said developing countries felt they had to “come and plead” with larger economies “to recognize, let alone solve” the problem of loss and damage.

“There is a real need to make tangible progress, to have real accountability – obviously for achieving what we all need to achieve, but along the way to retain a sense of trust and faith in the process. “, she said.

“I think trust and faith is what is at stake here in Egypt over the next two weeks.

“We’re not going to achieve everything people want to achieve here, but – whether it’s loss and damage or emission reduction commitments – there has to be a tangible sense of progress and not allow other big, important issues to distract.”

The Prime Minister added that the solutions to issues such as energy security – which are currently at the forefront due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and soaring gas prices – are the same solutions that could help to mitigate climate change.

Teresa H. Sadler