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COP26: Nicola Sturgeon says climate summit is best chance to push green economic change

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, pictured at COP26

The First Minister claimed Scotland can be positioned as a world leader in sustainable business as she opened a green investment showcase at the COP26 climate summit.

Nicola Sturgeon was at the showcase event with London Mayor Sadiq Khan during the UN gathering in Glasgow on Wednesday.

The first minister also highlighted Scotland’s green investment portfolio, which is predicted to reach £3billion by next year.

Ms Sturgeon said: “COP26 provides what is possibly our best chance to advance the societal and economic change that is demanded by the climate emergency, delivering lasting action towards net zero and a climate-resilient future.

“By grasping the opportunities provided by green industries and supply chains, we can create the good green jobs of the future and secure a just transition away from fossil fuels.”

‘Good green jobs’

At the launch, the SNP leader also claimed Scotland and London have more to gain from being partners than competitors.

“There is often a perception that Scotland and London are rivals and competitors, and of course every now and again, like any two cities, that may well be the case, but in general and in particular on (climate change) we are far more likely to be partners,” the First Minister said.

Mr Khan took the opportunity to announce a further £30 million of funding in London to stimulate up to £150 million of outward investment.

The event – a green investment showcase hosted by Scottish Enterprise chief executive Adrian Gillespie – was held as Cop26 delegates discussed how private finance can contribute to reaching net zero on the summit’s “finance day”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan

The London Mayor told the event, attended by businesses and financial professionals, that the relationship between Scotland and London will be a “long and meaningful one”.

He added: “Please see London, if you need to, as a gateway to the world when it comes to finance, or meeting angel investors or partnerships with other markets.

“Because we certainly see Scotland as a hub for talent, as a hub for scale-up.”

Climate targets

Finance day at COP26 also saw companies from all over the world agree to show how they intend to hit climate change targets.

By 2023 they will need to have set out detailed public plans for how they will move away from fossil fuels towards low carbon alternatives, and how they plan to help the UK meet its climate change targets by 2050.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak meanwhile outlined his vision to make the UK the first “net zero” financial centre in the world to finance ministers, bank governors and business heads.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, pictured at COP26

He says 450 firms, which control 40% of global finance assets worth £95 trillion agreed to step up and do their bit to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The chancellor says advances will need to be made to “rewire the entire global financial system for net zero”.

He told the conference more public investment is needed to tackle climate change but governments also need help from the private sector.

Broadcasters are also pledging to increase and improve climate change content.

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