The announcement today of the Scottish Government's Climate Justice Fund was welcomed by the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition.
The new fund to help people living in some of the world's poorest countries affected by the changing climate, such as more frequent and severe droughts and floods, will be a good example to bring to the Rio+20 summit in June of how the rich world can can face up to its historic responsibility for climate change and its substantial negative impact on many of the world’s poorest people.
Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said:
"The Scottish public has consistently shown its support for people around the world who are affected by poverty and climate change. Ahead of last year's Scottish elections many thousands demanded that the next government create a Scottish climate adaptation fund. Their voices have been heard."
Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said: "This fund shows Scotland is once again setting an example for other countries to follow in championing and delivering climate justice. Crucially, with one in seven people going to bed hungry every night, it must help the world's 500,000 small scale farmers boost their food production to ensure everyone has enough to eat."
Philippa Bonella, SCIAF's Head of Communications and Education, said: "International aid agencies like SCIAF are already working with poor communities devastated by the onset of climate change. This is a global crisis and immediate action is needed. The new Climate Justice Fund is a great start, and an example for other countries to follow."
Liz Murray, Head of Scottish Campaigns for WDM said: "Climate change is an issue of justice, with rich countries having caused climate change and poor countries now disproportionately suffering its impacts. It is right that the Scottish Government recognises that it owes a 'climate debt' to the world's poorest people and we hope that the fund will be of a size that meets the scale of the injustice suffered by poor countries."
Azra Sheikh, Campaigns and Communications Coordinator, Concern Worldwide, said: "Investment in small scale farming can act as a long term solution to the increasing challenges the world's poorest farmers are facing as a result of climate change."
Kathy Galloway, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, said: "This fund for climate justice will mean that communities whose livelihoods have been destroyed by flooding, droughts or displacement will be helped to find new ways of providing for their families, whether that be through growing different, climate-resistant crops, or building greater resilience to climate disaster."
Climate adaptation funding means that developed countries should provide funds to developing countries to support increased ability to adapt to the effects of climate change, and is a principle enshrined in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It has been agreed within the Convention to reflect the fact that developed countries have had a greater role historically in causing climate change.
The Scottish fund is a good start, but its starting point at £1m will have to be increased in the coming years to be able to address the scale of the problem.
The Climate Justice Fund complements the commitment Scotland has already made through its climate change legislation. The Scottish Government must now deliver on the promises in the Scottish Climate Change Act and reduce our emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.