THE Paris Agreement on climate change has been gutted and the prospects for developing countries look “dire”, according to an environmental charity, which has said wealthy countries are refusing to pay for the climate damage they have caused.

Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES) said northern governments and corporation were pushing forward with carbon trading and the repression of peoples’ demands in Chile had been echoed by the aggressive silencing of civil society voices at the Madrid climate summit, which it said has been out of touch with reality.

FoES said the chances of keeping the planet at a liveable temperature for all are on a knife-edge with the carbon “budget” for 1.5 degrees almost exhausted.

Yet, it said, the rich countries which created the climate crisis in the first place, including Scotland, the UK and the EU are using loopholes to evade emissions cuts rather than keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

The FoES remarks came as the COP25 summit in Madrid drew to a close. Sara Shaw, climate justice and energy programme coordinator for FoE International, said: “Just as we thought the slow pace and weak ambition shown at the climate talks couldn’t get worse, along comes COP25.

“Here, we have witnessed the gutting of the already weak Paris Agreement, with the advance of dodgy carbon trading that will only exacerbate the climate crisis and harm southern communities.

“And we have seen a refusal by developed countries to pay up for loss and damage finance, while they try to introduce language that would remove their liability for the impacts their emissions have caused.”

COP26 will take place in Glasgow next year under the presidency of the UK government, and FoES head of campaigns, Mary Church, added: “The COP in Glasgow will be the fourth in a row to take place in the global north, putting additional barriers in the way of global south participation. In light of yesterday’s election results we anticipate the continuation of the racist ‘hostile environment’ UK border controls. The UN must put pressure on the new UK government to ensure the voices of those most affected by the climate crisis are not silenced or excluded at COP26.”