Climate Justice Fund Launches

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has joined First Minister Alex Salmond and the Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission today at the launch of Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund, and called for other countries to share Scotland’s ambition on climate change - by both reducing their carbon emissions and implementing climate justice.

Climate justice is a response to the injustice that it is the world’s poorest communities, who have done least to cause climate change, who are bearing the brunt of its impact, due to increasingly erratic weather patterns and more climate related disasters such as floods and droughts.

Find out more about climate justice.

The Scottish Government is providing £3 million for the fund - one million per year for the next three years. The fund will support water projects in Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia - increasing communities resilience to the impacts of climate change.

At today’s launch a short film was released highlighting support for climate justice from across Scottish society. This included input from theCommission as well as SCIAF, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, Oxfam Scotland, Amnesty International, Christian Aid, Cardinal Keith O’Brian, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scottish Power Renewables, Islamic Relief, the STUC, Friends of the Earth Scotland and WWF Scotland.

Watch the short film here.

The fund is also supported by the 2020 Climate Group, and the Network of International Development Organisations of Scotland (NIDOS), and has attracted cross-party support from the Scottish Parliament.

Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice said: "Creating a new narrative based on climate justice, which amplifies the voices of the vulnerable, can inject the necessary urgency and ambition into the international negotiations to reach a new legally binding agreement by 2015. We will know that we have achieved an equitable solution when the human rights of the most vulnerable are upheld and protected.

"Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund acknowledges that those who contributed least to the causes of climate change are bearing the brunt of its impacts. To address this injustice, Scotland is delivering on commitments to build resilience of the world’s poorest communities to the impacts of climate change. Importantly, delivering these commitments builds trust between developed and developing countries who need to work together to solve the problem of climate change."

​First Minister Alex Salmond said: “The huge injustice of climate change is that it is those who have done the least to cause the problem - the most vulnerable from the world’s poorest communities - who are hardest hit by it. That is why Scotland is committed to supporting climate justice and why we are launching Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund. In launching this fund we are all too aware that one country cannot win the battle against climate change alone. Collective action is not an option but an imperative, and we need to ensure our actions and our message inspires others to act.

"Mary Robinson’s support is testament to the key international role Scotland is playing in delivering climate justice.  Scotland is providing strong leadership - sending a clear message to other industrialised nations that urgent action is needed and calling on them to share Scotland’s ambition on climate justice.“

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission added: "We welcome the launch of the Climate Justice Fund today. There must be broad recognition that the people who have contributed the least to climate change are suffering the most through extreme weather, desertification, crop failures, water shortages and newly spreading diseases - this situation violates their human rights and simply cannot continue."

Ian Marchant, Chair of 2020 Climate Group said: "The 2020 Climate Group warmly welcomes the Scottish Government's climate justice fund. Dealing with climate change is fundamentally a matter of justice. The Climate Justice Fund recognises our moral responsibility to show leadership and support those countries in the global South that are suffering from the impacts of climate change. Scotland already has world leading climate change legislation, this is a great next step towards ensuring that Scotland is a key player in tackling climate change."

First Minister Alex Salmond has urged world leaders to make 2012 a 'year of climate justice' ahead of the Rio+20 Conference in June - link.