NICOLA Sturgeon has welcomed an "ambitious" new agreement that recognises the “crucial” role of devolved, state and regional governments in delivering net-zero carbon emissions.

The Under2 Coalition – the group of state, regional and devolved governments working together to limit climate change – has agreed on a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which could impact the lives of nearly two billion people worldwide.

As European co-chair, Scotland is urging members to sign the MoU – which is in line with the Paris Agreement – and commit to achieving net zero, as a group, no later than 2050 – and to reaching it individually, as soon as possible.

Some 50-80% of adaptation and mitigation actions necessary to tackle climate change will be implemented at the subnational or local levels.

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With COP26 coming to Glasgow, the Scottish Government says it will use its platform as co-chair to encourage other subnational governments to sign up during the climate conference.

Thousands of delegates are set to descend on Glasgow for the international climate summit - with president Joe Biden also set to attend.

It was at at COP21 where the Paris Agreement was adopted, a legally binding international treaty to limit global warming to well below two, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

Scotland will be co-hosting the Under2 Coalition General Assembly in Glasgow on Sunday, November 7.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon said it is essential devolved governments play their part in reducing emissionsNicola Sturgeon said it is essential devolved governments play their part in reducing emissions

Sturgeon fired a warning call for countries to act on the climate crisis before it is too late.

The First Minister said: “COP26 in Glasgow is one of the world’s last chances to deliver on the aims of the Paris Agreement.

“To achieve that it is essential that countries turn promises into action, and it is crucial that states, regions and devolved governments play our full part.

“Collectively, we share the responsibility for delivering the actions required to achieve over half of the emissions cuts needed at a global level.

“As European co-chair of the Under2 Coalition, which now represents almost 2 billion people around the world, I urge state, regional and devolved governments to up their ambition.

“By doing so, we can spur national governments to go further and faster, too.”

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Responding to the news of the agreement, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks, said: “Much of the focus to date has been on big emitters, such as the UK, China, and other official Parties to the UN climate talks.

“However, put simply, we won’t be able to successfully address the climate emergency without action by devolved nations, like Scotland, acting alongside states and regional governments globally.

“We therefore welcome the announcement today that 260 regional, devolved and subnational governments, including our own, have now committed as a group to align with science and the Paris Agreement by achieving ‘net zero’ emissions.

“As well as delivering on its own pledge domestically, we hope the Scottish Government will continue to inspire others by demonstrating climate solutions, help ensure states and regions are included in the UN process, and do all it can to ensure this group of governments deliver substantial emissions reductions on time.”