Leaders of regional and state governments around the world are outstripping their respective nation states in both aspiration and action when it comes to dealing with climate change.The Climate Leaders’ Summit in Copenhagen this week brought together leaders from 15 leading states and regions to discuss new policy commitments to take the practical actions needed to implement a global deal.

The gathered leaders agreed a range of specific commitments, including proposals to plant one billion trees and improve partnership working between developed and developing countries, to reinforce the group’s existing commitments to energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport and better land management.

First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, who addressed the summit, said: “With leaders representing 350 million people, the Climate Leaders summit has an important part to play in taking the forward the argument for real and effective action on climate change.

“In so many ways these nations and regions are doing more to tackle climate change than their respective delegations to the climate convention.

“If the leaders at a State level were delivering as much we would be far closer to reaching the sort of agreement the planet needs. Sadly the other common message was that all too often, our potential to do even more is being held back by the very same State level governments.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland Chief Executive Duncan McLaren said: “World leaders should follow the good examples of these states and regions, such as Scotland’s target for a 42% cut by 2020 (over 1990 levels), Upper Austria’s zero carbon buildings standard from 2010 and Aragon’s target for almost 60% renewable electricity generation by 2010.

“But most of all, world leaders must deliver a Copenhagen deal that provides both the climate space for development in the global south, and the financial support for that development to be low-carbon itself. In other words a deal that delivers climate justice.”

For media enquiries, please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
T: 0131 243 2719

Notes to editors

From 7 – 18 December the UN climate conference (COP15) takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Governments from around the world will meet to discuss efforts to tackle global warming. We’re inviting people to come to Copenhagen to help build pressure on governments to find fair solutions to the climate crisis

Friends of the Earth Scotland is the country’s leading independent environmental campaigning organisation, and is the only organisation in Scotland that is working for environmental justice, campaigning for the planet and its people. www.foe-scotland.org.uk