Driving international climate action

Scotland assumes European role ahead of critical COP26 talks.

Scotland has been formally confirmed as European Co-Chair of the Under2 Coalition, a network of more than 200 governments set up to drive climate action across the world.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who will formally hold the role on behalf of the Scottish Government, attended the Coalition’s virtual General Assembly – falling during New York Climate Week - at which the two-year position was confirmed.

The First Minister has also announced £149,000 of funding to help women and young people in the global south – including support for a climate leaders project in Malawi - respond to the climate emergency and engage in international climate action.

She said:

“As the world continues to grapple with the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19 our focus is rightly on saving lives and protecting people’s jobs.

“But amid these enormous challenges, the climate emergency has not gone away – far from it – and we remain absolutely committed to a green recovery and to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045.

“But just as we will ensure a just transition to net zero in Scotland, we recognise our moral obligation to help set the world on course to net zero in a way that is fair for all.

“It is an honour to be asked to serve as European Co-Chair of the Under2 Coalition. The next 24 months will be a critical time for climate action, with 2020 marking five years since the Paris Agreement and November 2021 seeing the rescheduled COP26 take place in Glasgow. 

“I want  COP26 to be a milestone in the world’s transition to a net zero future but for that to happen, states and regions must work together – to press for change, and to turn our own ambitions into actions.

“I also want our time as Co-Chair to ensure inclusion is at the heart of the Coalition’s work. Those least responsible for the climate emergency face its worst impacts. We must ensure their voices are heard as we work with our partners across the world to ensure no-one is left behind on our journey to net zero.”


The Under2 Coalition is a group of more than 220 governments representing over 1.3 billion people and 43% of the global economy. The holders of the other regional co-chairs (North America, Latin America, and Africa) will also be confirmed on its website.

Funding of £149,000 is being shared by the Malawi Climate Leaders project and Women’s Environment & Development Organisation (WEDO).

The Malawi Climate Leaders project will use its funding to create a network of young people to be advocates for action on climate change and deliver practical initiatives. It is also helping raise further awareness of international climate justice, helping young people in Scotland learn about its work in Malawi and to help amplify the voice of young people at international climate talks like COP26.

Funding is also going to support WEDO to provide capacity building and training for women from the global south to integrate gender considerations into major international climate discussions.


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