By Lucy Ashton
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for “credible action, not face-saving slogans” to come from next week’s COP26 summit in Glasgow.
The talks have been billed as the “last best chance” to limit the rise in the earth’s temperature to 1.5C.
In a speech ahead of the conference, the first minister said concrete action is needed to “keep 1.5 alive”.
The UK government said the Ms Sturgeon would play an “important role” at COP26.
It has insisted the summit must “stick with the goal” of limiting temperature rises to 1.5C.
Ms Sturgeon said the conference can lead the world into a “green revolution” and that Scotland can act as a bridge between large and small nations.
And she said her government would set out details later this week about how it would “catch up” with its own emissions reduction targets, having “fallen short” of its last three annual milestones.
She said: “Governments at all levels have a responsibility and Scotland is determined to play our full part.
“Our ability to do that depends on our own climate credibility – Scotland cannot urge other countries to set and meet ambitious targets if we fail to do that ourselves.”
More than 120 world leaders will attend the summit, which takes place at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November.
In her speech to an audience of young people and students in Glasgow, the first minister called for a “significant uplift in ambition” from world leaders – particularly those of the “biggest emitting countries” – to act to limit global temperature increases and deliver a fair financial package for developing countries.
She said: “We take seriously the responsibility of all governments – at all levels – to show ambition, and to galvanise action. If we do that, we can all contribute towards a successful summit.
“I have said that small countries can lead the way in this, and they can, but in the coming days, it is the countries which emit the most, who most need to step up. They need to make ambitious pledges to achieve net zero. And those pledges must be backed by credible actions.”
“The idea of ‘keeping 1.5 alive’, cannot simply be a face-saving slogan. It must be real. And there must be progress in Glasgow which makes that outcome more likely.”
Ms Sturgeon also encouraged national governments to match the ambition of cities, regions and state governments, and she said her government would “help those around the negotiating table to hear from activists in the developed world and from the global South”.