Scotland politics

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to attend climate summit

Sunrise Image copyright Ian Bowie
Image caption The first minister has claimed Scotland is a "model for climate action"

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed she will represent Scotland at the UN global climate change summit in France.

Ms Sturgeon plans to hold a series of bilateral meetings at the Paris event.

The first minister said Scotland can be seen as a "model for climate action".

The Scottish government has failed to meet its interim targets on greenhouse gas emissions for the past four years, although it insists it will achieve its long-term goals.

Ms 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.

"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."

'Action on the ground'

She added: "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."

Figures released in June showed Scotland had failed to meet its climate change target for the fourth year in a row.

Scottish greenhouse gas emissions fell by 3.6% between 2012 and 2013 to 53 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2e).

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act requires a minimum 42% cut in emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

The Scottish government said it was on track to achieving this target and announced measures to reduce emissions.

Patrick Harvie MSP, co-convener of the Scottish Greens, welcomed the news that the first minister was to attend the Paris summit but said more action was needed.

"The Scottish government has presided over four years of missed carbon emissions targets so it needs to rebuild credibility," he said.

"Scotland can cut its emissions, generate clean power and create new jobs but merely congratulating ourselves for setting world-beating targets won't cut it; we need action on the ground if we're to lead the way."

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