NICOLA Sturgeon signed a joint agreement to tackle climate change with the governor of New Jersey yesterday as the First Minister continued her five-day visit to the United States and Canada.

Democrat Phil Murphy hailed Scotland’s “world-class offshore wind industry” and said his state was looking forward to learning from it.

The agreement commits Scotland and New Jersey to sharing experience and best practices and to working with like-minded countries, states and regions to increase ambition on climate change, as well as promoting business and economic opportunities created by the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Sturgeon announced the deal at a meeting with New Jersey governor Murphy. She signed a climate change agreement with the now former governor of California Jerry Brown on a previous visit to the US in 2017.

The First Minister said: “We all have a moral responsibility to tackle climate change and the Scottish Government has set ambitious targets to reduce emissions and increase our electricity from renewable sources.

“Climate change is a global problem and agreements like these, working in partnership with like-minded administrations, will help us tackle the harmful effects it has on the planet. I look forward to working with New Jersey as we work towards our shared ambitions.”

New Jersey has developed an offshore wind initiative and has established a goal of 3500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy by 2030.

Murphy said: “As New Jersey progresses on the path to 100% clean energy, we are grateful to partner with Scotland to tackle the issue of climate change head-on.

“Scotland has a world-class offshore wind industry and we are looking forward to learning from it as we establish offshore wind farms in our state.”

Sturgeon revealed on Twitter that she had made a special stop-off before travelling from Washington. She posted: “Leaving Washington DC for New Jersey on next stage of @scotgov trade visit, we stopped by the Martin Luther King Memorial as a mark of respect for US #BlackHistoryMonth – his words always inspire.”

Meanwhile, the First Minister has announced the appointment of Barry Logue as the renewables specialist for the east coast of North America, which Opportunity North East and Scottish Development International are co-funding.

The new role focuses on building connections for Scotland in the renewables sector in North America.