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Daily Record
Chris McCall

Nicola Sturgeon hails Scottish contribution to COP27 as deal struck to help worst-hit countries

Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed an historic deal struck on the last day of COP27 to launch a fund to support nations worst-hit by climate change.

The First Minister described the financial commitment from richer countries to help foot the bill for for "loss and damage" caused by global warming as a "real breakthrough".

But the Scottish Greens described COP27 as "yet another failure" after delegates failed to agree the kind of drastic changes on carbon emissions needed to limit rising temperatures to 1.5 degrees over the next 80 years.

Developing countries have campaigned for 30 years for a fund to help them tackle the worst effects of climate change.

Sturgeon, who visited the summit during its opening week, said: "COP27 has finally seen an acknowledgement by developed countries that the people least responsible for global warming are the ones suffering its worst consequences and that we have an obligation to support those experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis in the here and now.

"The agreement to establish a fund for loss and damage is truly groundbreaking and is a testament to 30 years of hard campaigning by the global south and civil society.

"I am pleased that Scotland, in being the first developed country ever to make a financial contribution, has been able to play a small part in that journey working with others over the last twelve months to build the momentum that has led to today’s decision."

The SNP leader added: "It is deeply disappointing that the recognition of loss and damage has not been matched by greater action to prevent a worsening of the climate crisis.

"Keeping 1.5 alive and delivering the fastest possible transition away from fossil fuels is key to preventing greater loss and damage in the future."

Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell said: "This is far too little and far too late. There has been one step forward on loss and damages but two steps back on oil and gas.

"The climate crisis is already a matter of life and death for millions of people around the world. After decades of denial, the first meaningful step has been taken to support those who are suffering the most, although actual funds remain largely empty."

Alok Sharma, the UK Government's lead negotiator at the summit in Egypt, said he was "incredibly disappointed that we weren't able to go further".

There had been hope agreements made at COP26 in Glasgow last year could be expanded on in the battle limit climate change to 1.5 degrees by 2100.

He said: "We had to fight incredibly hard, relentlessly, it was like a battle, to make sure that we preserved what we got over the line in Glasgow," he said.

He added: "I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5C was weak. Unfortunately, it remains on life support."

Mary Church, head of campaigns for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "Securing a loss and damage fund is a huge victory for global South countries who stood strong and united in the face of dirty tricks by the rich historical polluters who are resisting taking responsibility for the crisis they caused.

"Whether these global North countries will actually stump up the money needed to resource the fund is another question, given their abject failure to deliver on other longstanding finance commitments."

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