Renewed focus needed on climate emergency

Energy security drive must align with climate goals

The First Minister will urge countries to ensure current strains placed on the international order, including by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, do not result in the promises made at COP26 being broken on a visit to the USA this week.

In a keynote address to the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will call on global partners to lead by example as they step up actions to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees whilst addressing concerns over energy security.

The speech is part of a series of engagements the First Minister will undertake in Washington DC. In meetings with policymakers and business leaders, the First Minister will stress that policy and economic goals must align to ensure a just transition to a decarbonised economy.

The First Minister will also meet with Congressional Caucuses including the Caucus for Women’s Issues, the Friends of Scotland Caucus, the European Union Caucus and members who attended COP26.

During Monday’s address, the First Minister is expected 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.

“We have seen the rules-based international order come under increasing strain, made more severe due to Russia’s brutal, illegal and entirely unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Many European nations are reassessing their defence and security priorities – however, 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 renewable and low carbon energy. In many countries those options are already the most secure and sustainable ways of meeting our needs, and increasingly they are becoming the most affordable options too – for example wind power is already the cheapest form of power in Scotland’s energy mix.

“Scotland is positioning ourselves as a testbed for green technologies – 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.

“We need to move at pace to develop clean energy sources and act in a way which shows solidarity with communities in our countries who might otherwise get left behind, and with the global south.

“Europe’s debates on energy security matter to the wider safety and security of the entire world. Where we can, will be a constructive partner in those discussions. We will lead by example in our own actions, we will contribute to international energy security, and we will work with allies across the globe as we strive, together, to build a fairer, more secure and more sustainable world.”


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