A FURTHER £5 million of funding for countries hit hardest by climate change has been announced by Nicola Sturgeon at COP27.

The First Minister, who last year announced that cash for loss and damage would be doubled from £1m to £2m, held talks with representatives from the Global South at a meeting on Monday as she continued to champion the cause at the summit.

And ahead of the launch of a report which followed an international conference on the issue in Edinburgh last month, the FM brought the total commitment from the Scottish Government so far to £7m.

READ MORE: SPECIAL REPORT - How is Scotland helping the cause of 'loss and damage' and what is it?

The FM said it was crucial that the communities most impacted by climate change must be brought into discussions with richer nations about the compensation they need.

Speaking ahead of a panel discussion on loss and damage on the second day of COP27, Sturgeon said: “In virtually everything we do on loss and damage, Scotland is trying to ensure that we listen to international perspectives – especially the perspectives of the Global South.

“After all, for more than 30 years now - since the views of island states were first ignored – decisions at COP have been dominated by the voices of the Global North.”

With loss and damage now on the formal agenda at this year’s COP, the FM said it should be a “turning point” in ensuring the Global South is listened to.

She added: “The funding Scotland has announced today is a small sum in terms of the overall scale of the loss and damage that developing countries face, but I hope that it sends an important message.

“As Denmark and Wallonia have shown, governments can act now on loss and damage if we want to. We don’t need to wait for a consensus decision at COP – we can start funding programmes straight away.

“I very much hope that we will make collective progress on loss and damage at this COP. If that doesn’t happen, I expect that more and more governments will take action on their own – my belief is that as we do, it will create a momentum for change which will feed into future COP summits.”

After the Scottish Government’s pledge at COP26, the Wallonia government pledged €1 million, $3m was pledged from philanthropies and Denmark has agreed to pay up 100 million DKK (£11.8m).

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Professor Saleem Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, said: “The Scottish Government’s leadership in this area, including this latest funding pledge, is welcome and I hope it will prove an inspiration to other countries to take action to provide funding for loss and damage with urgency at COP27.”

Elizabeth Wathuti, young Kenyan environmentalist and climate activist, said: “From devastating flooding to the prolonged droughts in Africa, frontline communities like mine are bearing the burden of a crisis they did not cause.

“Rich countries beginning to recognise the need to address loss and damage is a step in the right direction. But to deliver on their promises, real political commitment and collective effort from developed countries through a loss and damage finance facility is crucial. We need permanent, reliable and sufficient funding.”

Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland said: “The urgent need to support countries to recover and adapt from the impacts of climate change that are already being felt has finally moved centre stage at COP27. This is an important issue that we hope to see meaningful progress in the coming days.”

It comes as a summary report was published following the Scottish Government’s conference on loss and damage last month.

Addressing Loss and Damage: Practical Action is set to highlight the funding gap for the various impacts climate change has had on the Global South, ahead of a more extensive report to follow at the end of the summit.