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Scottish Government makes climate pledge with 100 days until COP26



With 100 days to go until the COP26 climate conference comes to Glasgow, the Scottish Government has set out plans on how it will meet the global goals of the previous Paris Agreement.

The indicative Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), published today, outlines Scotland’s contribution to preventing global warming of more than 1.5 degrees.

As part of the climate agreement negotiated in Paris in 2015, signatories must publish NDCs – plans that set out their action to contribute to the goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees.

Scotland and the UK were previously part of a joint EU NDC, which included EU-wide emissions targets. The UK Government published a UK-wide NDC in December 2020.

Scotland is understood to be the first government that is not a formal party to the Paris Agreement to publish an indicative NDC.

While only parties to the Paris Agreement may submit NDCs, the Scottish Government committed to publishing an indicative NDC as a sign of Scotland’s commitment to joining and leading the international effort on tackling climate change.

The indicative NDC shows Scotland’s framework of statutory emissions reduction targets from the 2030 target to reduce emissions of all major greenhouse gases by at least 75%.

It also sets out the approach to achieving these ambitious targets, with a commitment to deliver a just transition at its heart.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said: “With COP26 coming to Glasgow, Scotland has a unique opportunity to show leadership on climate action on the international stage.”

Scottish Labour Net Zero, Environment and Transport Spokesperson Monica Lennon responded that the gap needs to be closed in Scotland between climate rhetoric and reality.

“It’s no good SNP ministers announcing a £100m for green projects in 2020, only to hold it back from the businesses and workers who need it.

“A Scottish Energy Development Agency should be established urgently, to ensure future funds and support are distributed quickly and to the right places.

“With 100 days to COP26, Scottish Labour is calling on the Scottish Government to take urgent action on green jobs and just transition, fix our dysfunctional bus services and protect communities by banning new incinerator developments.”

Mark Ruskell, climate spokesperson at the Scottish Greens, said: “It is good that the Scottish Government has published this indicative NDC, but we need more than ambitious targets from world leaders at the climate summit in 100 days’ time.

“We need to see investment behind the targets, in renewables and nature restoration and decarbonising heat and transport to drive down emissions – and there needs to be recognition that the transition away from oil and gas needs to start now, something which is conspicuous by its absence in the NDC.

“It would be good for the Scottish Government to recognise that opening the vast new Cambo oil field off the coast of Shetland is completely incompatible with the UK and Scotland’s commitments on climate.”

The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) has also launched its programme today, noting governments have committed $15trn to Covid-19 recovery, but less than 0.2% focused on climate change.

The GEFI, based in Scotland, reaches more than 8,000 financial services professionals. It has worked for two years to bring together a coalition of more than 40 finance sector organisations committed to action on climate change.

Jamison Ervine, the United Nations Development Programme’s global nature for development program leader, said: “We are not on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, not even close.

“We are headed for a future of more than three degrees Celsius – a future of runaway climate breakdown.”

GEFI has set out its path to COP26 programme, which includes the launch of net zero pension initiatives, an initiative bringing faith groups together to drive change through “ethical leadership and investment”, an evening of lectures about the climate by leading academics and roundtable discussions to move nature and biodiversity risk up the financial agenda, on the banks of Loch Lomond.

Omar Shaikh, founder and managing director of GEFI, said: “People and the planet are depending on our world leaders meeting in Glasgow this November.

“The Global Ethical Finance Initiative will be doing everything we can over the next 100 days, as we have for the last 10 years, to make sure that the global finance sector makes the right choices to avert climate catastrophe.”

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