THE SCOTTISH Government has received praise for "climate leadership on the international stage" after a lacklustre outcome at COP27 was salvaged by a loss and damage fund for nations on the front line of the climate crisis.

The final agreement at the summit in Egypt has been branded disappointing after failing to include any meaningful action on phasing out fossil fuels.

But leaders thrashed out a deal to create a fund for compensating poor nations that are victims of extreme weather worsened by rich countries’ carbon pollution.

It is a big win for poorer nations which have long called for cash because they are often the victims of climate worsened floods, droughts, heat waves, famines and storms despite having contributed little to the pollution that heats up the globe.

Some Western nations including the United States had been sceptical about opening the door to climate reparations.

Nicola Sturgeon’s government has been praised after Scotland became the first country to pledge loss and damage funding at COP26 in Glasgow. The Scottish Government has now pledged £7m to climate reparations – kickstarting the global movement.

The First Minister labelled the loss and damage agreeing as “truly groundbreaking”.

She added: “I am pleased that Scotland, in being the first developed country ever to make a financial contribution, has been able to play a small part in that journey working with others over the last 12 months to build the momentum that has led to today’s decision.

“There remains a lot of detail to be worked out over the next year ahead of COP28, but from the inclusion of loss and damage on the agenda, to the agreement to establish a fund, this COP has delivered a real breakthrough for vulnerable and developing countries.”

Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, praised the First Minister for “continuing support for climate justice”.

He added: “The issue of funding for action on loss and damage proved to be the breakthrough issue this COP, and Scotland can rightly say it helped play a small but important role in spotlighting and encouraging action on this crucial topic.”

Despite the loss and damage fund, concerns have been raised about the lack of progress on phasing out fossil fuels.

At COP26 in Glasgow, the agreement mentioned fossil fuels for the first time at a climate summit – with a pledge to “phase down” coal.

Alok Sharma – who was president of COP26 – said that hopes of limiting global warming to 1.5C were now “on life support”.

The deal agreed early on Sunday morning in Egypt failed to include measures such as a clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels, Mr Sharma said.

He said: “Those of us who came to Egypt to keep 1.5 degrees alive, and to respect what every single one of us agreed to in Glasgow, have had to fight relentlessly to hold the line.

“We have had to battle to build on one of the key achievements of Glasgow.”

Mr Sharma’s speech, delivered after what appeared to be fraught and last-minute efforts to broker a consensus, pointed out the gaps in the agreement.

He added: “We joined with many parties to propose a number of measures that would have contributed to this. Emissions peaking before 2025, as the science tells us is necessary.

“Not in this text.

“Clear follow-through on the phase down of coal. Not in this text. A clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels. Not in this text.

“And the energy text, weakened, in the final minutes.”

He added: “Friends, I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5 degrees was weak.

“Unfortunately, it remains on life support.

“And all of us need to look ourselves in the mirror, and consider if we have fully risen to that challenge over the past two weeks.”

But campaigners have accused the UK and Scottish governments of “hypocrisy” over their own fossil fuels commitments.

Mary Church, head of campaigns for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “The hypocrisy we witnessed at these climate talks from rich historical polluters on the issue of fossil fuel phase out is staggering.

“There is nothing to stop countries from phasing out fossil fuels, and yet the UK and the US in particular are doing the opposite with their vast expansion plans.

“Alok Sharma must take his table thumping on fossil fuel phase out back home and demand the UK Government overturn their climate trashing plans for North Sea oil and gas expansion and to reject the new coal mine planned in Cumbria.”

She added: "The Scottish Government too must turn its climate leadership on the international stage into concrete actions at home to get back on track to meeting its climate targets.

“It must clarify its position on oil and gas and set an end date for fossil fuels within this decade in order to have any chance of delivering on our fair share of climate action."