Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland “must accelerate the progress away from fossil fuels” as nations look forward to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Speaking at Bute House, the First Minister’s residence in Edinburgh, Sturgeon said that the Glasgow Climate Pact was not everything it could have been, and she understands the frustration and disappointment on the part of many climate activists.
The FM added: “There are big positives in it which must now be built on, for example the fact that we must limit global warming to within 1.5 degrees is no longer contested.
“There were also some big disappointments, not least on the failure to establish a facility for loss and damage – an issue the Scottish Government had led on and made some progress [on] over the course of Cop.
“There is a lot to build on and the challenge now, for all leaders, is to make sure that work is done and that we see by COP27 next year the kind of progress that is so badly needed.
Sturgeon added: “I came out of Cop firstly proud of the recognised leadership that Scotland has shown on climate change but also, very, very clear, in my own mind, that even though Scotland, in many respects, is leading the world, we need to go further and faster as well.
“We must accelerate the progress away from fossil fuels.
“For Scotland that’s clearly something we need to turn our minds to and do as quickly as possible.
“But that means building up the alternatives and not just for the energy needs but also to make sure that the 100,000 people who work in that sector have new jobs.
“We have already established a North-East Transition Fund to make sure that as we move away from fossil fuels we are creating the alternative sources of energy and the alternative jobs.
“We have got massive potential in renewable, onshore and offshore wind. We are scaling up the capacity of that already.”
Sturgeon also spoke about the prospect of using hydrogen, and said the Scottish Government published The Hydrogen Plan during COP26.
She said: “We set bold ambitions around hydrogen, green hydrogen in the main, in order to take advantage of our offshore wind and abundant supply of water – which puts Scotland in an ideal position to really exploit the potential of hydrogen, not just for our own needs here in Scotland but also as an export opportunity.
“I spoke during the week to a big gathering of those involved in hydrogen looking for investment opportunities and it is definitely an area where Scotland has got real strength.”