Scotland's Catholic aid agency says current action on climate change is "woefully inadequate"
The world's richest countries need to step up to their responsibility to stop climate change and help developing countries cope.
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) is calling for the dignity and rights of the world’s most vulnerable people to be at the heart of a new climate change deal, ahead of a major United Nations summit in December.
Governments from around the world will meet in Lima, Peru, from 1 to 12 December to lay the ground for a new global agreement on climate change before a final deal is signed in Paris in 2015.
SCIAF works with poor communities who rely on small-scale farming to survive in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These communities are already suffering the effects of increasingly hostile and erratic weather patterns, increased droughts and flash floods.
The Catholic aid charity is working closely with its sister agencies in the Caritasand CIDSE networks to put pressure on governments to dramatically reduce their country’s greenhouse gas emissions and help poor communities cope with the consequences of climate change.
Speaking ahead of the UN summit, SCIAF’s director Alistair Dutton said: "Climate change is hitting the world’s poorest people hardest, despite the fact they have done the least to cause the problem. Unpredictable weather patterns and increased droughts and flash floods are destroying crops and homes, leaving already extremely poor people even worse off.
“In Lima it’s vital that governments lay the ground for an agreement in 2015 which is fair, just and ambitious enough to safeguard the dignity and rights of the world’s most vulnerable people. Current measures to tackle climate change are woefully inadequate. Governments must go much further if we are to avoid the disastrous effects of climate change.
“Money is also urgently needed to help people in poor countries adapt to, and cope with, increasingly hostile and erratic weather. Richer countries promised to increase finance to £100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing nations adapt to climate change and develop low-carbon economies. In Peru governments must be much clearer about how they will provide the much-needed money they have promised.”