FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has called for “radical action” to tackle the global climate crisis as he attends COP28.

Arriving in Dubai for the climate summit as it kicks off on Thursday, Yousaf said Scotland will continue to call for loss and damage funding to help vulnerable communities deal with the impact of rising global temperatures, an issue set to dominate the event.

The 28th annual United Nations (UN) climate meeting is being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) between November 30 and December 12, where governments will meet to discuss how to prepare for future climate change as well as limit it.

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The UAE is one of the world’s top 10 oil producing nations, and leaked briefing documents revealed plans by the state to discuss fossil fuel deals with 15 nations. President of COP28 Sultan al-Jaber, CEO of the UAE’s giant state oil company, Adnoc, denied the allegations.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition Mairi McAllan will also be attending the summit, as well as a number of Scottish businesses.

Ahead of ministers travelling to Dubai, climate campaigners called for Scotland to “bolster the leadership” it has previously shown on loss and damage finance.

At COP26 in Glasgow, then-first minister Nicola Sturgeon doubled Scotland’s commitment to a loss and damage fund to £2 million, becoming the first developed nation to do so. Ahead of COP27, she announced a further £5m investment, taking the total to £7m.

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This year, Yousaf is set to hold bilateral meetings with a number of international leaders and those from the Global South.

Speaking ahead of the summit, he said: “Our planet is at a tipping point, radical and ambitious action is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The gathering of the global community at COP28 is pivotally important in the fight against climate change.

“Only by working together can we meet the need and urgency of the task that lies ahead.

“Scotland has demonstrated that we can lead the way on taking tangible steps, however collective action is needed to tackle the climate emergency and address the devastating effects of climate change, in particular loss and damage. We simply do not have time to work alone when it comes to our just transition to net-zero.”

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Yousaf added that ministers and officials will be sharing net zero progress, “showcasing our strides in sustainability” and engaging in “meaningful dialogue” on climate action.

“COP28 also allows the Scottish Government to advance international relations and build partnerships,” he added.

“Scottish companies will be attending to enhance Scotland’s global reputation, particularly on renewable energy. It’s also an opportunity to attract investment in strategic net zero sectors in Scotland.”

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, a coalition of 60 organisations, called on the FM to make “ambitious announcements” on reducing emissions and moving away from fossil fuels. Chair Mike Robinson said that international leaders at COP28 need to “step up” and break the “perilous reliance” on fossil fuels.

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“However, with the talks being hosted by one of the world’s biggest exporters of fossil fuels, many are very doubtful that we will end up with agreements anywhere near what is needed,” he said, adding that the reports around the talks being used to discuss oil deals were “concerning”.

Robinson added that this made it “more vital than ever” that Scotland demonstrates climate leadership on the world stage, as well as pushing ahead with action at home.

“The First Minister has confirmed his commitment to strong climate action, but we are yet to see this translate into sufficient investment in the actions needed to reduce emissions quickly and fairly here in Scotland.

“COP28 presents a key test of climate credibility on the world stage, and to protect this we urge the Scottish Government to get on with the things they can do now, such as reforming the funding system for agriculture, accelerating peatland restoration, making our homes warmer, and enabling more sustainable transport options.”

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Elsewhere, Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said there needs to be “action not words” from leaders at the summit.

He added: “We know what the targets are, and we’re missing them. We understand the science, but we aren’t acting quickly enough. Nations have pledged the finance, but it simply isn’t being rolled out with anything like the kind of urgency we need.”

The goal of COP28 is to keep alive the goal of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C, agreed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, in a bid to avoid the most damaging impacts of climate change.

The UN has said the window for keeping 1.5C is “rapidly narrowing”, with estimates suggesting the world is currently on track for 2.4C to 2.7C of warming by 2100.