NICOLA Sturgeon has welcomed the inclusion of loss and damage in the COP27 climate agreement but said it is “deeply disappointing” that this was not matched by “greater action to prevent a worsening of the climate crisis”. 

Nations across the world finalised an agreement which established a fund to help poorer nations who are often the victims of climate-worsened disasters. 

The First Minister previously announced a £5 million funding pot to tackle loss and damage, following on from the £2 million first pledged at COP26 in Glasgow. 

Sturgeon said: “COP27 has finally seen an acknowledgement by developed countries that the people least responsible for global warming are the ones suffering its worst consequences and that we have an obligation to support those experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis in the here and now. 

She said the loss and damage fund was “truly groundbreaking” and that she was pleased with the role Scotland has been able to play

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The First Minister continued: “There remains a lot of detail to be worked out over the next year ahead of COP28, but from the inclusion of loss and damage on the agenda, to the agreement to establish a fund, this COP has delivered a real breakthrough for vulnerable and developing countries.”

As well as pledging money towards loss and damage, Sturgeon also held discussions with representatives of the Global South at COP27. 

However, although the new agreement keeps alive the global goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, it did not ratchet up calls for reducing emissions. 

Sturgeon added: “It is deeply disappointing that the recognition of loss and damage has not been matched by greater action to prevent a worsening of the climate crisis. 

“Keeping 1.5 alive and delivering the fastest possible transition away from fossil fuels is key to preventing greater loss and damage in the future. 

“Alongside loss and damage we needed to see progress on adaptation and mitigation, on the submission of new national contributions, a pathway to 2030 and a strengthening of the language of the Glasgow Pact.

“It is vitally important that countries recommit themselves to doing everything they can to ensure we keep 1.5 alive and to building a coalition ahead of COP28 that protects and drives progress against any further push back.”

Elsewhere, the Scottish Greens have slammed the agreement, specifically its lack of “phasing down” on the use of fossil fuels. 

The latest deal has not expanded on last year’s call to reduce the use of “unabated coal”.

The overarching agreement – known as the “cover text” – does not raise ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from what was agreed at COP26. 

The Scottish Greens climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “This is far too little and far too late. There has been one step forward on loss and damages but two steps back on oil and gas.

“After decades of denial, the first meaningful step has been taken to support those who are suffering the most, although actual funds remain largely empty.

“However, the lack of any ‘phase out’ or even a ‘phase down’ of all fossil fuels means that ultimately COP27 will be remembered as yet another monumental failure.”

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According to the agreement, the loss and damage fund would initially draw on contributions from developed countries and other private and public sources such as international financial institutions. 

Ruskell added: “Words are not enough. We need meaningful and robust actions and agreements between governments who truly recognise the scale of the crisis and are genuinely committed to the transformation that is needed. 

“We can’t go on like this. We don’t have any more time for failed summits. We can’t keep brining leaders, diplomats and scientists together every year and failing to make the changes that are needed. 

“Our future, and the future of our planet, is far too important for that.”

Environmental campaigners have also hit out at the deal, including Friends of the Earth Scotland. 

Its head of campaigns Mary Church said: “Civil society played a vital role in their advocacy and solidarity with global South countries on this all-important issue, leaving the US, EU and UK with no cover for their diversionary tactics. 

“People power matters, we can and must keep fighting for the better world we know is possible, because world leaders aren’t going to make it without us.”

She continued: “The hypocrisy we witnessed at these climate talks from rich historical polluters on the issue of fossil fuel phase out is staggering. 

“There is nothing to stop countries from phasing out fossil fuels, and yet the UK and the US in particular are doing the opposite with their vast expansion plans.”