The Scottish Government has been accused of failing to follow through with climate commitments after it was revealed not a penny of the £5 million loss and damage funds pledged by Nicola Sturgeon has been handed over.

The then-first minister used the COP27 conference in Egypt last November to announce the Scottish Government would promise £5 million of funding towards loss and damage for developing nations to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis, calling on global leaders to follow suit.

Scottish ministers had already earmarked £2 million for loss and damage funding, before the additional £5 million was announced.

Of the original £2 million of funding, around of quarter was being spent in Malawi on projects including flood defences.

The Scottish Government held its own conference on loss and damage in October last year, ahead of the COP27 summit, with speakers including young climate activist Vanessa Nakate.

The Herald:

At the summit, Ms Sturgeon told The Herald that is was “frustrating” big Western nations like the United States are not “prepared to move faster and on a bigger scale” with loss and damage.

The Herald revealed that the Scottish Government was drawing up a dossier of evidence in favour of loss in damage ahead of COP27, when the issue became a key part of discussions in Sharm al-Sheikh.

Read more: COP27: Scottish Government to hand over loss and damage dossier in Egypt

The Scottish Government was praised by global leaders for its part in putting loss and damage on the agenda.

By the end of COP27, leaders agreed to set up a loss and damage funding mechanism, with UN climate change executive secretary, Simon Stiell, stressing nations “have determined a way forward on a decades-long conversation on funding for loss and damage”.

He added that the world has agreed to begin “deliberating over how we address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the very worst impacts of climate change”.

Scottish ministers said the funds would enable communities to take direct action to address the impacts of loss and damage – including slow-onset effects, such as sea level rise and non-economic effects, such as the loss of cultural identity.

The funding was earmarked from the £36 million climate justice budget.

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon calls on West to 'move faster' and follow lead on climate loss and damage

In announcing the funding, Ms Sturgeon said the £5 million was “a small sum in terms of the overall scale of the loss and damage that developing countries face, but I hope that it sends an important message”.

She added that there is no need to wait for a global consensus on loss and damage, but insisted “we can start funding programmes straight away”.

But The Herald can reveal that none of the £5 million pledged at COP27 has so far been allocated.

It is understood that the Scottish Government has held talks with global stakeholders to ensure the approach used to hand over the funds makes the maximum contribution to the communities that are most in need.

Alba party general secretary, Chris McEleny, said: “This announcement was made with much fanfare at COP27 but the reality is the only money spent to date has been on the 5-star hotel treatment for Nicola’s entourage to travel to a luxury beach resort in Sharm al-Sheikh.

“ The issue of global reparations deserved more than just a cheap soundbite.

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon announces £5m fund for climate reparations

“According to Morgan Stanley, climate-related disasters cost the world $650 billion from 2016-2018 therefore the £5 million fund announced was just a drop in the ocean that was more about getting Nicola Sturgeon a headline on the global stage than it was making a difference to developing countries.”

He added: “Scotland has the potential to become a global leader in renewables.

"It would be better for the Scottish Government to use our cheap clean electricity potential to draw industry to Scotland to create jobs and the growth to our economy that would allow us in turn to export that technology to the developing world - actual meaningful change as opposed to a soundbite fund the Government aren’t even be bothered enough about to spend.”

Scottish Conservative shadow net zero, energy and transport secretary, Douglas Lumsden, said: “This is typical of the grandstanding promises, followed by failure to deliver, that were the trademark of Nicola Sturgeon’s time in office.

“When it came to overblown pledges that got her on the front page, the former first minister was always front and centre. When the time came to pay up, she was nowhere to be seen.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to tackling the climate emergency, urgently and fairly. That is why we have pledged support for communities that, despite having done the least to cause climate change, are suffering its impacts first and worst.

“So far, the Scottish Government has spent nearly £2 million on addressing loss and damage and, at COP27, we announced an additional £5 million which will be spent over the course of this parliament.

“We are currently finalising how this will be allocated to greatest effect and are seeking views from the Global South to ensure the funding responds to their needs.”