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by Kirsteen Paterson
16 May 2022
Nicola Sturgeon to make climate plea in US trip

Nicola Sturgeon speaking at Cop26 in Glasgow

Nicola Sturgeon to make climate plea in US trip

SNP leader to meet with Congressional Caucuses

Russia's war on Ukraine will force Europe to rethink energy policy and security, Nicola Sturgeon will say on her US trip today.

The First Minister will warn against the potential for Cop26 promises being broken as a result of Putin's war and other strains on the international order.

In a keynote address to the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington DC, she will renew her call to prevent global temperatures rising by 1.5 degrees or more to stop a climate "catastrophe".

And she will hail Scotland's potential as a "testbed for green technologies" for a more sustainable future.

Sturgeon will also meet with congressional caucuses, including the Caucus for Women's Issues, the Friends of Scotland Caucus, the European Union Caucus and members who attended Cop26 in Glasgow.

Last week US climate envoy John Kerry said the "Glasgow pact" still stood, and he retains hope that the 1.5 degree threshold will not be broken.

Speaking in Washington later, Sturgeon is expected to say: "The world is on course to exceed both 1.5 degrees of global warming and the 2 degree threshold, and scientific consensus is overwhelming that this will be catastrophic.

"We've seen the rules-based international order come under increasing strain, made more severe due to Russia's brutal, illegal and entirely unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Many European nations are reassessing their defence and security priorities; however, the security debates in Europe are not just about military capabilities and strategic alliances. 

"The invasion of Ukraine is also forcing countries in Europe to rethink long-held assumptions about energy policy and energy security. Countries must prioritise, as far as we can, an approach to energy security that focuses on sustainability, with measures to promote energy efficiency and to accelerate the development of renewable and low carbon energy."

Championing the growth of wind power in Scotland, she will go on: "Scotland is positioning ourselves as a testbed for green technologies – we are the location for the world's largest floating windfarm, we are an established centre for the development and testing of new wave and tidal technologies, we have developed plans to trial carbon capture and storage, and we produced a hydrogen action plan last year. Our hope is that this innovation can benefit other countries, and create jobs and opportunities at home in Scotland.

"We need to move at pace to develop clean energy sources and act in a way which shows solidarity with communities in our countries who might otherwise get left behind, and with the global south.

"Europe’s debates on energy security matter to the wider safety and security of the entire world. Where we can, will be a constructive partner in those discussions. We will lead by example in our own actions, we will contribute to international energy security, and we will work with allies across the globe as we strive, together, to build a fairer, more secure and more sustainable world."

The trip comes as the Scottish Government moves to strengthen the country's "international relationships, presence and voice" and "become more active internationally".

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