Scottish Environment Minister pledges Governments commitment to tackling climate change and delivering climate justice

L-R: Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Dr Richard Dixon, Kathy Galloway, Siobhan Reardon

On Wednesday 28 November, Scotland's Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse announced the first round of recipients of the Government’s Climate Justice Fund, at an event hosted jointly by Amnesty International Scotland, Christian Aid Scotland and WWF Scotland, and supported by The University of Edinburgh.

As the Doha Climate Change Conference takes place in Qatar, Scotland has positioned itself as playing a key international role in helping to deliver climate justice. The Minister reiterated the role of the Scottish Government in helping to deliver climate justice to the world’s poorest people, the least able to cope with the catastrophic consequences of climate change.

Funding from Scotland’s £3 million Climate Justice Fund were was awarded to a series of projects based in Malawi and Zambia, all of them focused on developing access to clean and safe water for communities heavily impacted by climate change.

The five winners of the first round of funding were

  • Voluntary Service Overseas project supporting village and district planning officials in Malawi to plan for and address the impact of extreme weather
  • Oxfam Scotland project enabling small-scale farmers in Zambia, especially Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, to adapt sustainably and productively to climate change and improve water access and sanitation
  • Tearfund work at district and community level in Malawi to increase availability of clean and safe water
  • SCIAF - Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund project to develop water management strategies with the poorest rural communities in Malawi
  • A project from the University of Strathclyde developing underground water access for rural communities in Malawi, while addressing the impact on water supply as a result of climate change.

Siobhan Reardon, Acting Programme Director of Amnesty International Scotland, chaired a panel discussion on the issue, with a panel featuring Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Director of WWF Scotland Dr Richard Dixon, Head of Christian Aid Scotland Kathy Galloway.

Siobhan Reardon 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.”

Notes

  • More information about the winning projects of the Climate Justice Fund is on the Scottish Government's website /li>
  • Earlier this year year the Government launched the Climate Justice Fund after holding the world's first parliamentary debate on climate justice.
  • Amnesty International Scotland has produced a briefing paper outlining the human rights impacts of climate change.

View latest press releases