7 December 2015
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon travelled to Paris to attend the UN global climate change summit and discuss Scotland’s world-leading efforts in tackling climate change.
Ahead of the summit, the First Minister announced that an extra £12 million will be invested over the next four years to help reduce the impact of climate change on the world’s poorest communities.
The money – from the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund – will support projects in countries such as Malawi and Zambia.
The First Minister said:
The people who have done least to cause climate change are the people who are being hit hardest. The scale of the injustice is massive.
“In 2012 we became the first national government in the world to establish a climate justice fund and we have had some fantastic results. That’s why I can announce today that we are doubling our funding for the Climate Justice Fund to £12 million over the next four years.”
Also on the agenda in Paris was a meeting with former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson (below, with the First Minister) who officially launched Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund in 2012. The Fund has also received backing from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The First Minister also joined Governor of California Jerry Brown to confirm the progress of 44 states and regions on cutting greenhouse gases.
— UN Environment (@UNEP) December 7, 2015
— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) December 7, 2015
The First Minister’s announcement was warmly welcomed by a range of stakeholders.
SCIAF’s Director Alistair Dutton said:
We welcome the increase to the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund. It’s a clear recognition that wealthy industrialised countries like Scotland have a clear responsibility to help poor countries cope with the huge climate challenges they face. It sets a positive example to other wealthy nations meeting in Paris.”
Head of Oxfam Scotland, Jamie Livingstone, said:
Globally, and here in Scotland, we must limit the damage by reducing emissions, but we must also ramp up our support to help those already affected adapt their lives to unavoidable climate impacts.
“In this context, the Scottish Government’s enhanced commitment to climate justice is very welcome – it increases the funding promised and creates much needed predictability.
Prof Alan Miller, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said:
The Scottish Government has already committed to promote the concept of climate justice in its work. This helps to ensure that the developed countries – like Scotland and the UK – understand their responsibility to mitigate their own carbon emissions, recognise the right to development, and support a low carbon path of development for developing countries.”
The Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church & Society Council, attended the Paris summit last weekend as part of a delegation from the Church of Scotland and Eco-Congregation Scotland. She said:
We welcome both the call of the Scottish Government for an ambitious agreement to be reached at the Paris summit – one which will make life on our planet sustainable in the long term – and also its commitment to double investment in its Climate Justice Fund.”
— Lang Banks, WWF (@LangBanks) December 7, 2015
Following the meeting the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the discussions she has had at the climate change summit today make her “cautiously optimistic” that a bold and ambitious deal will be agreed in Paris.