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Paris COP 2015

Published: 1 Dec 2015 14:57

First Minister to attend global climate summit.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will represent Scotland at the UN global climate change summit in France, it was confirmed today.

The First Minister 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. She will also use high-level meetings and speaking engagements to champion the cause of climate justice which aims to avoid the worst impacts of climate change falling on the poor and the vulnerable at home and abroad.

As part of the programme, the First Minister 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 per cent 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.

Minister for Climate Change Dr McLeod will also represent Scotland at the conference.

The First Minister 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.

"It is no exaggeration to say that our future, and that of generations to come, depends on a successful outcome and so the stakes could not be higher. We must ensure that this summit delivers the step-change needed in the international fight against climate change.

"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.

"While Scotland has already set out ambitious targets to cut emissions, we are also pioneering a specific climate justice approach, which puts people and human rights at the heart of our action on climate change and in supporting fair and sustainable global development. We already support 11 projects in Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia which help some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people- particularly women and children - adapt to the impact of climate change. I want to see that continue and – during the summit - the Scottish Government will be championing climate justice as a global priority."

Notes to editors

The First Minister will travel to Paris on Sunday and return on Monday.

Scotland is supporting international efforts to secure an ambitious, robust climate treaty at UN COP21. Scottish Ministers will be at COP21 to promote the strong Scottish story which has been praised by the Head of the UN Climate Body, Christiana Figueres.

By 2013 we had cut emissions by 38% since 1990, much more than the 31% originally envisaged. We are producing half our electricity demand from renewables. We have delivered our 500MW target for community and local renewables five years early – with the potential for £2.2bn of income for communities and local owners over the lifetime of these projects, and we met our energy target consumption seven years early with a 13% reduction. And we are benefiting from 45,000 low carbon and environmental services jobs.