International action on climate change

Climate change is the defining challenge of our times and requires action at all levels of government, civic society and business worldwide.

We strongly support the Paris Agreement (2015) - the global plan to tackle climate change.

The accord aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees celsius.

Scotland's commitment

We are working to promote increased global ambition on climate change and cooperating with partners around the world to share:

We are also promoting the economic benefits of a just and fair transition to a low carbon economy and the moral message of climate justice - particularly through our Climate Justice Fund.

Scotland is involved in the following international programmes and organisations aimed at tackling climate change and increasing sustainability worldwide:

International engagement

As part of Scotland's climate outreach, we are active in a number of initiatives to increase participation in the global climate debate and develop a greater understanding of the key challenges in transitioning to a low carbon economy. Some of these initiatives are listed below.

Cooperation agreement with the Government of California

The First Minister and Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a joint agreement in 2017 committing both governments to work together to tackle climate change. This includes cooperation on offshore wind renewable energy and continued support for the Under 2 Coalition and its MoU objectives.

Gender Action

Scotland is championing international efforts to promote gender equality within the global climate debate. We are providing direct support to the UNFCCC for their Gender Action Plan to promote the development of gender responsive climate policies.

We are also supporting the Women Delegates Fund, to promote equal participation in global climate decision making.

Future Fund

Scotland is supporting The Climate Group's States and Regions Future Fund, which aims to help developing and emerging economic regions engage and participate in the global climate debate with a view to accelerating the shift towards a prosperous low carbon future for all.

Zero Emissions Vehicles Initiative

We are working with The Climate Group on an exciting initiative to enable the exchange of specific policy actions that state and regional governments can take to increase the adoption of low emissions, and eventually zero emissions, vehicles. This is a growing area of interest globally and a policy priority for Scotland.


In November 2017 the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform attended the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) hosted by Fiji and the UNFCCC in Bonn, Germany.

The First Minister spoke alongside the UN Secretary General to deliver the message of states, regions and devolved governments around the world to national governments. Read the First Minister's Global Climate Action speech.

Find out more about how Scotland was represented at COP23 in the news story: Tackling climate change on a global level.