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Sturgeon sets sights on Aberdeen becoming first net zero city

Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes Aberdeen could become the first ‘net zero capital of the world’ when speaking at an SNP conference yesterday. 

So far no city has been able to claim that title, but plenty are in the running, with Copenhagen currently the most likely to become net zero by 2025, while former coal town Nottingham is not far behind.

The Scottish First Minister announced 22 projects involved in the Just Transition Fund, a £500m ten-year commitment which supports projects in the North East and Moray towards reaching net zero, have been awarded funding of more than £50m.

cars parked on side of road near high rise buildings during daytime

Ms Sturgeon said: ‘These projects will support the production of green hydrogen, the development of wave and tidal energy, and even pioneer the use of waste from whisky to recycle EV batteries’.

Projects that will receive a share of the funding include investments in research and innovation, new green skills training facilities, pilots for emerging energy technologies and projects that will get businesses ready for the supply chain opportunities to come from the energy sector’s transition to net zero.

Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, Richard Lochhead, said: ‘As we embark on our energy transition we can build on the oil and gas industry’s expertise and ingenuity to transition to a clean energy future.

‘This will help us achieve our net zero targets and create good green jobs as well as tackle inequalities in our society.’

Speaking at a conference on climate loss and damage in Edinburgh today, Ms Sturgeon also urged other nations to support developing nations finincially to help them cope with environmental destruction. 

At COP26 last year, Scotland became the first country in the world to commit to provide funding to help cover costs of loss and damage in other nations which was caused by the climate crisis. 

‘The devastating recent floods in Pakistan, are a very recent example of [this]. They underline the injustice at the very heart of climate change – that the countries who have contributed least to it, are very often those suffering the most,’ she said. ‘And they should serve as a further wake-up call to developed countries. The loss and damage caused by the climate crisis is already clear. It is becoming more evident with every passing month. And it is something which we now urgently need to address.’ 

She encouraged countries to take action on this issue now and mentioned Denmark’s recent historic agreement to provide funding for insurance and to support strategic partnerships with civil society in the Sahel region of North Africa. 

‘We need to encourage other developed countries to follow Denmark’s example,’ she added. ‘If we wait for everyone to agree on the issue of loss and damage, we will delay progress. Instead, those who are ready and willing to act, should do so now.’ 

Photo by Laurentiu Morariu

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