SCOTLAND’S First Minister has called on global leaders to “start to pay their debt” to the global south after increasing her government’s “reparation” payments for climate loss and damage.

Nicola Sturgeon’s administration has been widely praised after becoming the first country to provide funding for loss and damage – acknowledging developed countries’ contribution to the climate crisis.

The Scottish Government has now doubled the £1 million loss and damage funding as well as boosting its climate justice fund to £36 million.

Speaking at COP26 yesterday, Ms Sturgeon told delegates that the $100 billion pledged by rich countries to the global south every year, promised to start from 2020 but is yet to materialise was “shameful”.

The First Minister said that funding should be “relatively straightforward”, adding that “there is no excuse” for it not happening 12 years after being pledged.

She said: “It will be shameful if we come out of this COP without that commitment being met in full.”

Ms Sturgeon told COP26 that Scotland has “put loss and damage on the agenda”, insisting that “we must see more countries come forward” with payments.

She added: “Finance is key to this – not as an act of charity but as an act of reparation.

“It’s not good enough that there’s one country, and only one country in the world, that has made any financial commitment to this.

“It has to be something that we see real progress on.”

She called on world leaders around the negotiating table at COP26 to “step up in Glasgow and let the rich countries start to pay their debt to the developing and vulnerable countries across the world”.

The Scottish Government’s climate justice fund now totals £36 million – with other countries being urged to match that ambition as COP26 talks enter the final phase.

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.”

Speaking at the same panel as the First Minister, climate activist Vanessa Nakate warned that thousands of activists and people living in countries affected by climate change “do not see the success that is being applauded” at the summit.

The 24-year-old added: "The truth is that the atmosphere doesn’t care about commitments. It only cares about what we put into it or stop putting into it.

“Humanity will not be saved by promises. It’s hard to believe business and finance leaders when they haven’t delivered before. They have not been faithful in their promises. They have not been honest in fulfilling their commitments.”