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19 October 2021

Responding to news of an agreement that recognises the role of devolved, state and regional governments in delivering net zero, Lang Banks, director at WWF Scotland said: 

“Much of the focus to date has been on big emitters, such as the UK, China, and other official Parties to the UN climate talks. However, put simply, we won’t be able to successfully address the climate emergency without action by devolved nations, like Scotland, acting alongside states and regional governments globally.

“We therefore welcome the announcement today that 260 regional, devolved and subnational governments, including our own, have now committed as a group to align with science and the Paris Agreement by achieving ‘net zero’ emissions.

“As well as delivering on its own pledge domestically, we hope the Scottish Government will continue to inspire others by demonstrating climate solutions, help ensure states and regions are included in the UN process, and do all it can to ensure this group of governments deliver substantial emissions reductions on time.”

Notes to Editors

[1]  Scottish Government PR

Scotland leads new agreement, on devolved, state and regional governments commitment to net zero

The First Minister has welcomed an ambitious new agreement that recognises the crucial role of devolved, state and regional governments in delivering net zero.

The Under 2 Coalition – the group of state, regional and devolved governments working together to limit climate change – has agreed an ambitious new Memorandum of Understanding.

As European Co-Chair, Scotland is urging members to sign the MoU – which is in line with the Paris Agreement – and commit to achieving net zero, as a group, no later than 2050 – and to reaching it individually, as soon as possible.

50-80% of adaptation and mitigation actions necessary to tackle climate change will be implemented at the subnational or local levels.

With COP26 coming to Glasgow, Scotland will use its platform as Co-Chair to encourage other subnational governments to sign up during the climate conference.

Scotland will be co-hosting the Under 2 Coalition General Assembly in Glasgow on Sunday 7 November.

The First Minister said:

“COP26 in Glasgow is one of the world’s last chances to deliver on the aims of the Paris Agreement. To achieve that it is essential that countries turn promises into action, and it is crucial that states, regions and devolved governments play our full part.

“Collectively, we share the responsibility for delivering the actions required to achieve over half of the emissions cuts needed at a global level. As European co-chair of the Under 2 Coalition, which now represents almost 2 billion people around the world, I urge state, regional and devolved governments to up their ambition. By doing so, we can spur national governments to go further and faster, too.”

Background

The Under2 Coalition is a group of more than 260 governments representing over 1.75 billion people and 50% of the global economy.

Scotland was elected European Co-Chair of the Under2 Coalition in September 2020, which it will hold for two years.