20 June 2012

From Scotland to the world: Fighting climate change

From Sara Cowan, Oxfam's Campaigns and Activism Co-ordinator 

A friend from London and I have a long standing joke about how great we Scots are as inventors. We are certainly a small nation that likes to lead the way: the T.V, telephone and tarmac - and that's just the T's!

More recently Scotland has been leading the way in a different area. The three year anniversary of Scotland's world leading climate change legislation is just days away, and this year saw another first with Scotland announcing the creation of, and funding for, a Climate Justice Fund.

While such progress is great at a Scottish level, it's also crucial that this message is heard at the international level too. Scotland can't solve the climate challenge alone.

With that in mind, we held a photo stunt with Stewart Stevenson, the Scottish Government's Climate Change Minister, before he set off to join the UK delegation in Rio. It was great to hear his commitment to taking the message of climate justice to the global stage. Mr Stevenson proved a very good sport and worked with us to make a short video highlighting the importance of funding for climate justice. As he says: if we can do it, so can others.
While the Scottish Climate Justice Fund is small in monetary terms, it will still have a significant impact in supporting some of the poorest people in developing countries adapt to the impact of climate change - which we, not they, caused. But the fund's greatest significance is its symbolism. It's an example to others, showing that ambition is possible.

However, as Tom Ballantine from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland says - we need more than fine words at Rio, it's now time for action.

Stewart Stevenson
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