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First minister’s climate pledge welcomed by campaigners

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​Tough new climate bill is needed say campaigners

Green campaigners have welcomed what they say is Nicola Sturgeon’s “renewed commitment” to climate change action.

The first minister spoke at a high level session at the COP23 climate conference in Bonn, where she said it is time to turn the Paris deal into reality.

She said: "We must now urgently agree the specific pledges - and agree the operating manual which will enable us to limit global temperature increases to well below two degrees Celsius and preferably below 1.5 degrees.

"Now, that doesn't simply require impressive targets for the next two decades. It requires urgent action in the next two years as well and it requires all countries, developed counties especially, to contribute fair shares."

This was welcomed by campaigners in this country.

Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “Scotland should be proud to be invited to speak at such a high-level event during the COP23 talks. It highlights the important role we are taking in setting the ambitious targets needed to not only tackle climate change but also provide climate justice.

“Climate change is happening now and is already seriously affecting the lives of the world’s poorest people; those in communities that have done the least to cause the problem.

“The fact that the first minister used her speech to highlight this growing injustice, and call for urgent and early action from those who have caused the climate crisis, is to be welcomed.

“When it comes to climate change, what Scotland does gets noticed right around the world, so it was great to see Scotland’s first minister representing the interests of the planet’s states, regions and devolved governments at this year’s UN climate conference.

“Passing a strong climate change bill in 2018 would make Scotland one of the first nations to respond to the Paris Agreement with stronger climate change targets.

“A new climate bill that commits Scotland to becoming climate neutral by 2050 at the latest, and introduces ambitious new action to reduce emissions would ensure that Scotland continues to lead on this issue.”