Sturgeon warns of ‘catastrophic’ effects of failure on COP commitments

The First Minister is to address environmental issues at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC during a trip to the US.

Sturgeon warns of ‘catastrophic’ effects of failure on COP commitments during Washington DC visit STV News
Nicola Sturgeon is set to speak at the Brookings Institute think tank.

Nicola Sturgeon is set to warn of the “catastrophic” consequences that would arise if climate change targets agreed at the COP26 summit in Glasgow are not met.

The First Minister is set to speak at the Brookings Institute think tank and meet congressional groups and business leaders during a two-day visit to Washington DC from Monday.

In a keynote address, Sturgeon is set to plea to other nations to ensure that the strains placed on the international order by the conflict in Ukraine do not result in the promises made at COP being broken.

She is set to say: “Six months on from COP26, the world looks very different but many of the challenges we faced then remain.

“As things stand, the world is on course to exceed both 1.5 degrees of global warming and the 2-degree threshold – and scientific consensus is overwhelming that this will be catastrophic.

“The security debates in Europe are not just about military capabilities and strategic alliances.

“The invasion of Ukraine is also forcing countries in Europe to rethink long-held assumptions about energy policy and energy security.

“Countries must prioritise, as far as we can, an approach to energy security that focuses on sustainability, with measures to promote energy efficiency, and to accelerate the development of renewable and low carbon energy.”

Sturgeon will also tell the international audience that Scotland is looking to become a “testbed for green technologies”.

She will say: “We are the location for the world’s largest floating windfarm, we are an established centre for the development and testing of new wave and tidal technologies, we have developed plans to trial carbon capture and storage, and we produced a hydrogen action plan last year.

“Our hope is that this innovation can benefit other countries, and create jobs and opportunities at home in Scotland.”

The speech is part of a series of engagements the First Minister will undertake in meetings with policymakers and business leaders.

Sturgeon has said she hopes to encourage greater investment and co-operation from the US during the Washington visit.

The Conservatives have called the trip an “indy tour” and accused the First Minister of promoting independence abroad at taxpayers’ expense.