But they insist extra money should be levied from polluters (picture credit: Joey Cobb)
A charity coalition has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to poorer countries most impacted by the climate crisis.
At Cop27 in Egypt this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the allocation of more money specifically for Loss and Damage finance – which pays countries for harm done by climate change and helps them recover.
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) welcomed the Scottish Government's decision to increase its contribution to £7 million from the existing Climate Justice Fund.
However, the group stressed that it is important that this cash is “genuinely new” and not moved from other pots of public spending – and said it should be levied from the country’s biggest polluters.
The news came after members of SCCS and Loss and Damage experts from the Global South met with the first minister to discuss the issue at Cop27.
At the meeting, delegates from Kenya, Rwanda, Mali, Malawi, Bangladesh, Nepal and Zambia shared their first-hand experiences of the devastating impacts the climate crisis is having in their communities and their hopes from the global climate talks. They also thanked the first minister for the leadership Scotland has shown on Loss and Damage.
Nushrat Chowdhury, climate justice policy advisor at Christian Aid in Bangladesh, said “In our meeting the first minister spoke strongly about her commitment to championing Loss and Damage, and this leadership is very welcome after the many years global south countries have spent campaigning for rich nations to pay for their climate damage. It is essential that this announcement - plus Loss and Damage finance being on the formal Cop agenda for the first time - inspires other rich nations to pay up, and that this is seen as reparations, not charity, as the first minister has said.”
Anne Callaghan from SCCS said: “We are pleased to see this allocation of money from the existing Climate Justice Fund specifically for Loss and Damage. As the first minister has acknowledged, this contribution is small but, crucially, we have already seen both Denmark and Belgium build on Scotland’s leadership and also commit funds. All rich nations must now urgently address the grave injustice that the world's poorest countries who have done least to cause the damage are paying the price to recover.
“However, with increasingly catastrophic climate impacts, we urge the first minister to now commit to ensuring these funds are genuinely new and additional and raised by making the biggest polluters in Scotland pay for the damage they’re causing.
“By doing so, the Scottish Government can go beyond symbolic sums, contribute our fair share of climate finance and boost investment in the actions needed for a just transition to a fairer, low carbon Scotland. It would also mean the cost of living crisis driven by our dependence on fossil fuels could be definitively addressed, rather than lurching from one crisis to another. The longer we wait to act, the more expensive it will be.”