COP27: outcomes, achievements and costs

Outcomes, achievements and costs associated with the Scottish Government's presence at the 2022 COP27 event.


The Scottish Government has four focus areas as part of the approach to international climate change. These are:

  1. Attracting investment and jobs necessary for the transition ahead.
  2. Advancing Scotland’s international relations to secure positive outcomes – diplomatic and economic.
  3. Influencing positive and progressive international climate action.
  4. Delivering Scotland’s net-zero ambition in Scotland and building a fairer, more just society.

At COP27, the Scottish Government focused on delivering the Glasgow Climate Pact under four specific aims:

  • increased ambition and action towards net zero, a just transition, and resilience by Non-Party States and Governments (NPSG) under the Scottish Government’s Co-Chairmanship of the Under2 Coalition
  • governments and other institutions are influenced by the Scottish Government’s work on loss and damage and this builds momentum towards an increased global commitment to, and funding for, loss and damage
  • governments and other actors commit to and demonstrate increased action on energy and a Just Transition
  • advance the Scottish Government’s international relations both diplomatic and economic, attracting investment in strategic sectors in Scotland and promoting Scotland’s expertise around the world

Across all these aims, the Scottish Government sought to continue to play a bridging role, ensuring the voice of women, young people and the Global South influenced debate and action at COP27.

Progress against the Scottish Government aims for COP27

Increased ambition and action by non-party governments towards net zero

The FM, in partnership with the European Climate Foundation, used COP27 to kick-start a process to increase the influence of non-party governments to better contribute to the global climate debate and drive forward action. This initiative gained momentum at COP27 with various governments and organisations seeking to work in partnership with the Scottish Government to take this forward. 

The Minister worked to increase the inclusivity and ambition of the Under2 Coalition to act on climate change. The Minister and officials had engaged with potential new members throughout the year and following further engagement at COP27, Scotland, Wales and the Australian states signed the Under2 Policy Forum joining agreement (which Scotland also co-Chairs), and the Minister welcomed all 12 Moroccan regions join the Under2 Coalition and sign up to the Under2 MoU committing to keep below 1.5C levels of emissions.

COP27 provided an opportunity for Scottish Government officials to connect, in person, with a wide range of Under2 Coalition and Regions4 members, who had also travelled from around the world to be at COP27. This allowed officials to build on existing relationships and create new partnerships. As a result, more Under2 members are looking to work with Scotland and share expertise, particularly around green hydrogen. These partnerships will be further developed during 2023. 

Increased global commitment to and funding for loss and damage

At COP 27, the First Minister and Minister, working in support of global south partners, helped to keep the focus of COP27 on increasing global funding for loss and damage. Building on the COP26 commitment to fund loss and damage, the Scottish Government committed an additional £5 million with a particular focus on the impacts felt by girls and women. As one of the first movers, this action helped catalyse a total of over $300 million in international pledges on loss and damage, which demonstrates the progress made in just one year starting with Scotland’s funding.

The Scottish Government also helped to keep the focus on the practicalities of funding for loss and damage, following on from Scotland’s October 2022 conference – Addressing Loss and Damage: Practical Action. The report from that conference was referenced throughout discussions at COP. In addition, Scottish Government officials contributed to technical discussions, providing evidence-based insights from Scottish Government funding loss and damage, as well as learning from others to support Scottish Government programming. Negotiators reported that Scottish insights had helped progress negotiations.

As Lang Banks from WWF noted: “The issue of funding for action on loss and damage proved to be the breakthrough issue this COP, and Scotland can rightly say it helped play a small but important role in spotlighting and encouraging action on this crucial topic.”

Increased action on energy and just transition

The FM and the Minister contributed to global voices calling for a swift move away from fossil fuels, under a fair and just transition. While the lack of progress at COP27 on reducing emissions was disappointing, the governments focused on achieving Net Zero including Scotland, were able to ensure the target for 1.5C remained alive. As part of this, there was particular interest in Scotland’s expertise in offshore wind and green hydrogen. New partnerships on these will be developed during 2023. For example, in January, the Scottish Government hosted a visit by the Barbadian Energy Minister to share ideas on how to work together more closely on green energy. 

Advanced international relations

The FM, the Minister and officials used COP27 to further build international relations and increase Scotland’s influence for a more ambitious, urgent international response to the climate crises. Scottish Government interlocutors at COP27 (including Ministers, climate activists and the private sector), were clear that the Scottish Government was well-regarded for its progress on reducing emissions, in particular transitioning to renewable energy in a just and fair way, and transparency in recognising that much remains to be done; and respected for its values-based approach to climate change, recognising a moral responsibility around addressing loss and damage. 

The CIVTEC team forged new partnerships with global companies to support technologies that respond to the climate crises. These will be further developed during 2023 including on tree planting and renewable energy.

Bridging role

During COP27 the Scottish Government Ministers and officials continued to champion the rights of those from the Global South, women and youth and increase their influence on the COP negotiations. The major objective for many of these partners at COP27 was gaining agreement for a fund for loss and damage and this was achieved.  Scottish Government supported them directly by funding the participation at COP of four women delegates (from Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic and Timor-Leste) and 35 young people through the Youth Negotiator programme and indirectly (by providing them with a platform at COP27 during formal events hosted at the pavilion and during the bilateral meetings). 

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