URGENT action is needed in Scotland if climate changing emissions are to be tackled, big businesses have said.

International firms including Coca-Cola, Tesco and Sky have signed a statement calling on the Scottish Parliament to “renew their position as a climate leader in the Climate Change Bill”.

The statement reads: “Scotland, with its proud tradition of innovation, a wealth of natural resources and a track record on climate change, has an opportunity to rise to this challenge and provide the necessary leadership.

“We hope the Scottish Parliament seizes the chance to renew its position as a climate leader in the Climate Change Bill and look forward to working with government, businesses and people in Scotland to build a climate-safe future for all.”

The statement then urges Scotland to meet the Paris Agreement’s target of zero net emissions by 2050.

The move follows a WWF Scotland survey which suggests 53% of large Scottish businesses – with at least 250 employees – believe the response to climate change presents economic opportunities.

Nick Brown, head of sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners, said: “Coca-Cola has been working in global partnership with WWF for over a decade to help conserve the world’s fresh water supplies, reduce our carbon emissions and ensure that our agricultural ingredients are farmed sustainably.

“As a local business in Scotland, with a manufacturing site in East Kilbride which uses 100% renewable electricity, we’re already working to halve greenhouse gas emissions from our core business by 2025.

“We welcome the introduction of a well-designed deposit return scheme in Scotland and across the whole of Great Britain in order to enable a true circular economy for our key packaging materials so we can put more recycled content back into our packs, reduce waste and improve resource efficiencies.”

Scotland’s Climate Change Bill, published last year, proposed reducing harmful emissions by 90% by 2050 – a 10% increase from the previous target.

In response, the Scottish Government has said it will look at targets again in the wake of a UN-backed study that said the impacts of climate change, from droughts to rising seas, will be less extreme if temperature rises are curbed at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels than if they climb to 2C.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warned that limiting warming to 1.5C is possible, but will require fast and far-reaching changes to energy production, industry, transport and building, as well as shifts in lifestyles – including a decrease in the number of people who consume meat.