NICOLA Sturgeon is to use a speech in Washington today to warn of the “catastrophic” consequences of failing to meet the climate change targets agreed last year at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow.

The First Minister will say that while the “world looks very different” in the wake of the Russian attack on Ukraine, leaders must focus on sustainability rather than look to fossil fuels.

The SNP leader is on a two-day visit to the US capital and plans on meeting congressional groups and business leaders.

Labour has accused the First Minister of “jetting off abroad” rather than dealing with the cost of living crisis.

While the Scottish Tories called the trip an “indy tour” and suggested the First Minister was using the taxpayer-funded visit to promote independence.

As well as the address to the Brookings Institute today, the First Minister will host a GlobalScot dinner with Scottish businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals based in DC.

While tomorrow, Ms Sturgeon is due to meet with members of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, the Friends of Scotland Caucus and the European Union Caucus.

She's also lined up meetings with delegates from the Glasgow  summit.

In her speech, entitled Scotland’s place in the world, the First Minister will say that six months on from Cop 26, the world is still "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."

She will say that Russia’s “brutal, illegal and entirely unprovoked invasion of Ukraine” has seen “the rules-based international order come under increasing strain”.

While this has led to many European nations “reassessing their defence and security priorities” and also rethinking “long-held assumptions about energy policy and energy security.”

Ms Sturgeon will say: “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 renewable and low carbon energy.

“In many countries those options are already the most secure and sustainable ways of meeting our needs, and increasingly they are becoming the most affordable options too – for example wind power is already the cheapest form of power in Scotland’s energy mix.”

The First Minister will say that Scotland is positioning itself as a “testbed for green technologies.”

She will tell the audience: “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.”

Meanwhile, Cop26 president Alok Sharma is set to call on governments to demonstrate that “though the world has changed, our resolve has not”.

The Cop26 President will say: “The current crises should increase, not diminish, our determination to deliver on what we agreed here at Cop26, and honour the Glasgow Climate Pact. We need every nation to pick up the pace.”

Mr Sharma is expected to say "that the window of time we have to act" to prevent temperature rises of 1.5 degrees is closing fast, and "that we must urgently adapt and reduce emissions, because current targets are not enough”.
He will call on countries to revisit and strengthen their nationally determined contributions ahead of  Cop27.