Thursday 1 March 2012
In what is understood to be the first parliamentary debate on the issue worldwide, the Scottish Parliament debated climate justice today. The debate highlighted the increasing impact of climate change on the world’s poorest – who despite contributing the least to the causes of climate change, in terms of carbon emissions, are worst equipped to respond to it.
During the debate Minister for Environment and Climate Change Stewart Stevenson confirmed the Scottish Government manifesto commitment to co-ordinate a climate adaptation fund will be taken forward, by launching Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund in the coming months. The announcement follows the First Minister championing the need for climate justice during recent visits to China and the Gulf.
Mr Stevenson said:
“It is a travesty that it’s the poorest people in the world’s most undeveloped countries who are hardest hit by climate change. 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’m 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.
“Our parliamentary debate on climate justice is understood to be a world first, with Scotland making clear to other industrialised nations that action is needed – and sending a message to developing countries that we understand the urgency of the situation. I’m determined that Scotland will continue to provide leadership and take action on these key issues.”
Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund – which will meet the manifesto commitment to co-ordinate the establishment of a climate adaptation fund – is expected to be operational from the spring, with further plans to be announced in the coming months.