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Environment Minister pledges government commitment to tackling climate change and delivering climate justice

Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse, will tomorrow (Wednesday 28th November) outline the Scottish Government’s role in delivering climate justice at an event hosted by Amnesty International Scotland, Christian Aid Scotland and WWF Scotland.

As the Doha Climate Change Conference begins in Qatar this week, Scotland is positioning itself as playing a key international role in helping to deliver climate justice, with the world's first parliamentary debate on the subject and the launch of the Climate Justice Fund earlier this year. 

The event, which is also supported by The University of Edinburgh, will see the Minister reiterate Scotland’s commitment to tackling climate change at a domestic level, as well as helping to deliver climate justice to the world’s poorest people, the least able to cope with the catastrophic consequences of climate change.

Siobhan Reardon, Acting Programme Director for Amnesty International Scotland, said:

“Climate change adversely impacts the most fundamental of human rights, including the right to life, health, housing, food and water; with the most devastating results being felt by Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights. Climate justice makes this crucial link between the environmental effects of climate change and human rights.

Amnesty International welcomes the Scottish Government’s human rights approach to climate justice. This approach must now be turned into clear policies putting human rights at the heart of Scotland’s international economic framework.”

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland said:
“Scotland's climate targets, our push for renewable energy and the climate justice fund are all well worth promoting, and the world certainly needs good examples just now. As delegates at the UN climate talks in Doha try to make progress towards future global targets, we need to make sure that Scotland grasps the low carbon opportunity, lives up to its commitments and deliver emissions reductions at home.”

Kathy Galloway, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, said:
“Climate change is, above all else, a matter of justice. The most dangerous consequences of a changing climate disproportionately affect the poorest communities, yet these communities have fewest resources with which to cope.
“It is only fair that we play our part in clearing up the mess that our consumption and lifestyles have helped to create. Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund is a welcome step in that direction."

Event details


  • Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change
  • Siobhan Reardon, Acting Programme Director, Amnesty International Scotland
  • Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland
  • Kathy Galloway, Head of Christian Aid Scotland
  • Prof. James Smith, Assistant Principal of The University of Edinburgh and Director of The University of Edinburgh Global Development Academy


Godfrey Thomson Hall, Thomson's Land, The University of Edinburgh EH8 8AQ


Wednesday 28 November, 7.30pm until 9pm

Media welcome to attend, RSVP to


The Doha Climate Change Conference will take place from Monday 26 November to Friday 7 December 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar.

In the first parliamentary debate on the issue worldwide, the Scottish Parliament debated climate justice on 1 May 2012 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.

First Minister Alex Salmond and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, launched Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund on 31 May 2012 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 recognition and response to the injustice that it is the world’s poorest communities, who have done the least to cause climate change, who are hardest hit by it. They are suffering from a changing environment causing increasingly erratic weather patterns, desertification, crop failures, water shortages and newly spreading diseases. Climate change impacts on rights to life, livelihoods and the ways of life of many millions of people in the developing world. Climate justice links the impacts of climate change with human rights and development.

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

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

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