NICOLA Sturgeon has confirmed the Scottish Government’s climate justice fund will be increased by a further 50 per cent – after the pot of money was doubled last month.

The surge in funding, as part of the Scottish Government’s response to –ongoing negotiations at COP26, takes the total to £36 million.

A leading charity has labelled the increased funding as having "hugely raised the stakes as the COP26 talks enter their final few hours" and called on nations to "step up and follow Scotland’s lead". 

In announcing the additional money, the First Minister criticised world leaders for being unable to keep their promise to hand over $100 billion a year from 2020 to the global south – insisting that funding is crucial to tackling the climate crisis.

Ms Sturgeon said: “It is clear that fair climate finance is the key to making real progress at COP26.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Developed nations must 'pay our debt' to global south facing climate crisis

“Every vulnerable or developing country I have spoken with has big ambitions for meeting the climate crisis but they do not have the funding for adaptation, for mitigation, or for tackling the loss and damage that is needed to deliver.

“Twelve years on from the commitment by developed nations to provide funding of $100 billion a year, that is simply not good enough.

“It is time for leaders of developed countries, large and small, to do what is needed to bridge the remaining gap and put on the table now the money that is needed to make good on past commitments and unlock progress in other areas.”

She added: “Scotland is a relatively small country of just five million people, and we do not have substantial powers of borrowing. That means our contribution will always be relatively small in a global context. However, we can still lead by example and there has never been a more vital time to do so.

“All of my conversations with delegates from the global south over these two weeks – and the obvious need to increase the overall ambition of the draft cover text published yesterday – have convinced me that rich countries must do more on finance in the final hours of COP if we are to secure the best possible outcome. That is not charity, it is our obligation.

READ MORE: COP26: World told to follow Scotland's lead in 'pioneering' loss and damage funding

“Accordingly, the Scottish Government – having already committed to doubling our climate justice fund to £24 million in this parliament – has now decided to increase it by a further £12 million. That means since the fund opened in 2012, we will have trebled Scotland’s contribution to climate justice.

“This increased funding will also build on our groundbreaking contribution to loss and damage, by doubling our contribution to addressing loss and damage to £2 million.

“My message today is simple. If Scotland can up its contribution, there is no good reason why the larger, developed countries around the negotiating table cannot do so too.

“I call on all leaders to step up and secure the outcome from this Glasgow COP that our planet needs.”

Oxfam Scotland, which has been campagining for further cliamte justice funding from governments, has welcomed the increase in resources.

Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “This announcement from the First Minister has hugely raised the stakes as the COP26 talks enter their final few hours - sending a powerful message to the leaders of other rich nations that it’s simply unconscionable to leave poor countries picking up the tab for a climate crisis they did least to cause.

“Other governments must now step up and follow Scotland’s lead by making substantial new financial commitments to developing countries, where people are already losing their lives, homes and livelihoods to climate change.”