The Scottish Government should increase its fund to help the world’s poorest countries deal with climate change, according to campaigners.
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, a coalition of 55 charities and campaign groups including Oxfam, say the climate justice fund has been frozen at £3 million a year since 2016.
As Glasgow is hosting the United Nations climate change conference COP26 next year, they say the host nation should lead the way in helping poorer countries adapt to climate change and pay compensation for the irreversible damage caused.
It comes as Oxfam releases a report saying wealthy countries are over-reporting the true value of their climate change aid to developing countries by billions of dollars.
Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “The time is well and truly up for wealthy countries who think that it’s acceptable to respond to the global climate emergency by simply making vague vows to cut their own emissions while using creative accounting to dodge their responsibility to support the world’s poorest who did least to cause the climate crisis.
“The Scottish Government must seize the chance to show that Scotland will not abandon those being hardest hit by climate change to their fate, instead we will significantly increase the amount of financial support we give poor countries and encourage others to do likewise.
“Doing so now, well ahead of the global climate talks in Glasgow, would send a powerful message to a watching world that climate change is not just a matter of science, technology or economics, it is a matter of justice.”
Anne Funnemark, campaign director at the Jubilee Scotland charity, said: “The climate emergency is, quite literally, costing the earth for developing countries.
“Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, rich countries must demonstrate that they will stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s poorest people by offering more financial support to countries on the frontline of the climate emergency to adapt to climate change while also compensating them for their losses.
“As home to the host city of COP26, the Scottish Government has the opportunity to show global leadership by boosting the support it gives to poor countries via its climate justice fund while encouraging other countries to take similar action.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “As the world continues to grapple with the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, our focus is rightly on saving lives and protecting people’s jobs.
“But amid these enormous challenges, the climate emergency has not gone away – far from it – and we remain absolutely committed to a green recovery and to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045.”
She added: “Climate justice recognises that the poor and vulnerable at home and overseas are the first to be affected by climate change, and will suffer the worst, despite having done little or nothing to cause the problem.
“Our world-first climate justice fund will continue to support communities in our partner countries of Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda become more resilient to climate change.
“The powerful work done to date will help inform how we support climate justice initiatives as Scotland prepares for Glasgow to host COP26, and beyond 2021.”