BY Ian Dunn | March 1 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

3-GLOBAL-CLIMATE-CHANGE

SCIAF welcomes Government financial commitment to climate justice

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund applauds announcement on multi-million pound fund made this morning at the Scottish Parliament during the world’s first parliamentary debate on climate justice.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund has welcomed the news that the Scottish Government is to create a Climate Justice Fund in accordance with a pledge in the nationalist’s manifesto at the last election.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Stewart Stevenson made the announcement this morning during the world’s first parliamentary debate on the subject of climate justice, at the Scottish parliament.

“It is a travesty that it is the poorest people in the world’s most undeveloped countries who are hardest hit by climate change,” Mr Stevenson said. “They are least able to respond to the impact of increasingly erratic weather patterns and ever more frequent climate-related disasters. This situation cannot continue and the onus is on the international community to take action. Therefore I am pleased to confirm to Parliament today that the Scottish Government is progressing plans to establish a Scottish Climate Justice Fund, which will be launched in the next few months.

The fund, which is excepted to be operational from the Spring, will spend several million pounds a year on helping people in the world’s poorest countries adapt to the challenge of Climate Change.”

Patrick Grady, SCIAF’s advocacy manager, said it was a great step forward and a testament to the power of the charities campaign.

“SCIAF warmly welcomes today’s announcement that the Scottish Government will create a new Climate Justice Fund in the near future,”  he said. “We look forward to hearing more about the size and operation of the fund in due course.

“Thousands of SCIAF supporters have contacted their MSPs and the Scottish Government over the last year, calling for additional funding to tackle climate change in developing countries.  Today’s debate in the Scottish Parliament demonstrated cross-party support for the concept of climate justice, and a clear recognition of widespread public concern about the impact of climate change around the world.”

Mr Grady said that the Fund would provide help to those who most needed it.

“Urgent and substantial action is needed to support vulnerable communities in developing countries where lives and livelihoods are already being lost due to climate change,” he said. “Countries like Scotland secured huge economic benefits from the historical use of fossil fuels.  It is only fair that we should stand in solidarity with those now affected and pay our fair share to help the most vulnerable adapt to the climate challenges they face.  “

SCIAF’s latest report Balancing the books: Making climate adaptation funding a reality, published in October 2011, highlighted the disproportionate impacts climate change is having in developing countries and called on industrialised governments, including Scotland, to provide new and urgent finance to support developing countries build resilience to climate change.

—ian@sconews.co.uk

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