Climate change is the greatest threat facing our planet and our species and must be treated with the complete seriousness it deserves. That is why the SNP in Government in Scotland will always emphasise climate action.
Given the Prime Ministers disappointing announcement this week that he will be rolling back the UK Governments commitments to Net Zero, the SNP are more committed than ever to be proactive and bold in our actions on climate and the environment.
Our commitment to climate and climate justice is at the forefront of the SNPs mind, which is why the SNP First Minister is in New York for Climate Week this week.
The First Minister met with Under2 Coalition Co-Chairs last Sunday, ahead of the keynote speech which he gave on at the Climate Week NYC Hub on Monday.
In his speech he reminded the audience that: “Scotland has demonstrated that we are prepared to walk the walk where many others, to this point, have merely talked the talk. Collective action is needed to tackle the climate emergency and address the devastating effects of climate change, in particular loss and damage”
The First Minister demonstrated Scotlands understanding that meeting our global climate goals will demand an urgent mobilisation of climate finance. He called on governments to accelerate financial support for countries most affected by climate-induced loss and damage, and detailed how Scotland is at the forefront of this.
Under the Scottish Government, the Climate Justice Fund has increased to £36m since 2022, which aims to support those on the frontline of the climate crisis, this is in contrast to an espoused Global Britain that this Tory UK Government cuts international aid.
For example, the £3.2m Climate Challenge Programme Malawi (2017-2020) supported a select group of rural communities to identify and implement their own solutions for adapting to and building resilience against the worst effects of climate change. This contributes directly to many of the UN Global Goals, especially Goal 13 on climate action.
The Scottish Government has provided support through its Climate Justice Fund to assist peoples of Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Rwanda train in water resource management and resilience, improve sustainable agricultural and irrigation systems, plant 122,000 trees, develop renewable forms of alternative farming, and fund clean drinking water initiative.
A total of £5 million has been awarded to the Climate Justice Resilience Fund who support vulnerable communities in the Global South who have experienced loss caused by climate change, with a specific focus on women and young people.
In addition, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) has received a further £300,000 to support communities in Malawi impacted by Storm Freddy.
The First Minister also acknowledged that non-economic loss and damage can include forced displacement and impacts on cultural heritage, human mobility and the lives and livelihoods of local communities.
As such, Scotland’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund will also receive an additional £1 million to support communities affected by disasters, disease, or conflict, in recognition that climate change is increasingly driving humanitarian emergencies abroad.
Scotland not only prides ourselves on being leading on climate, but we are recognised as such on the international stage: Egypt's COP27 Presidency welcomed actions by Scotland and Denmark as “steps in the right direction” in relation to loss & damage & encouraged other developed nations to follow their lead.
The SNP will not ease the pressure on the UK Government in demanding that they walk the walk rather than merely making grand climate pledges that they do not keep.
In the event of a change in Government after the next General Election, the SNP will ensure that upholding climate commitments and international climate development spending is a top priority from day one.
We understand that negating climate spending commitments has an impact on people at home as well as the wider international community. We believe that a collaborative global effort is key to ensuring the safety and protection of those most vulnerable to climate change.
This is why Scotland will always seek to be a good global citizen and make climate and development spending a key feature of our policy moving forward.