Maintain and expand commitments to international climate finance including increasing the Climate Justice Fund
Maintain and expand commitments to international climate finance, including, within current devolved powers, significantly increasing the Climate Justice Fund (CJF) through measures to make polluters pay, and use this example to urge the UK Government to fulfil its fair share contribution to both climate finance and addressing loss and damage.
Extreme weather events, events like droughts and sea-level rise are intensifying.65 Governments in the Global North must meet their overdue commitment to raise $100bn a year of climate finance for poorer countries from 2020 and build on this by mobilising significant levels of additional funding, in line with the scale of the climate crisis and their historic contribution to it.
It is vital that finance to support countries suffering the consequences of the climate crisis is fully additional to wider development assistance, given that spiralling climate impacts are independent of existing development goals. In reflecting this, and Scotland’s past and present role in causing the climate crisis, the Climate Justice Fund should be significantly increased, building towards our fair share of international climate finance, and Scotland should champion further global funding to ensure continued alignment with climate action principles, as set out in the Paris Agreement (para 5, Article 7).
The Climate Justice Fund was created in 2012 with cross-party support. Since the commitment of £3 million per year to the CJF at COP21 in Paris, substantial fiscal powers have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This represents a significant increase in opportunity for the Scottish
Government to mobilise new sources of finance to help in the collective global effort to tackle the climate emergency.
The Scottish Government’s existing financial commitments to the Climate Justice Fund are £36m this Parliament, including £7m for action to address loss and damage.
The Scottish Government can set a progressively strengthening example to other Global North countries and devolved actors by:
1. significantly increasing the CJF using devolved revenue-raising powers to ensure the money is additional and not simply repurposed from other initiatives, domestic or international, and does not detract from action on climate emissions at home
2. calling, proactively, for other rich countries to increase their own contribution while championing additionality, building on Scotland’s example to date, including urging the UK Government to pay their fair share of climate finance66
3. exploring how Scotland could raise significant additional monies through measures which make polluters pay for their damage
The Scottish Government also should at least maintain, but expand where possible, its Humanitarian Emergency Fund in recognition that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events is increasing, and the current humanitarian system is unable to cope.67
Scotland should harness our international recognition as the first Global North country to commit finance to Loss and Damage, to develop an effective model for Scotland’s Loss and Damage programme with international experts and ensure that the whole of the Climate Justice Fund is spent in a locally-led, transparent and transformative way. This could include, for instance, creating an ongoing international platform for learning and sharing knowledge on loss and damage.
For further information:
2021-2026 Policy Priorities for Scotland, SIDA, 2021, https://www.intdevalliance.scot/how-wehelp/2021-scottish-election
Financing Climate Justice, https://www.stopclimatechaos.scot/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/FinancingClimateJustice_Report_ONLINE.pdf
Footing the bill: fair finance for loss and damage in an era of escalating climate impacts, Oxfam,2022, https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/footing-bill-fair-finance-loss-and-damage-eraescalating-climate-impacts
Funds needed for extreme weather-related humanitarian appeals eight times higher than 20 years ago, Oxfam, 2022, https://www.oxfam.org.uk/media/press-releases/funds-needed-forextreme-weather-related-humanitarian-appeals-eight-times-higher-than-20-years-ago/
Fair Sources of Finance for a New Loss and Damage Funding Arrangement, Quakers UnitedNations Office, 2023, https://quno.org/sites/default/files/resources/Fair%20Sources%20of%20Finance%20for%20a%20New%20Loss%20and%20Damage%20Funding%20Arrangement__31%20May%202023__QUNO__Carlson.pdf
Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying – IPCC, https://www.ipcc.ch/2021/08/09/ar6-wg1-20210809-pr/
The UK’s Fair Share to limit global warming to 1.5ºC, Action Aid, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth England, Wales & Northern Ireland,
Friends of the Earth Scotland, War on Want, 2021, https://waronwant.org/sites/default/files/20-21_FairShareUK_Infographic_web.pdf
Footing the bill: fair finance for loss and damage in an era of escalating climate impacts, Oxfam International, 2022, https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/footing-bill-fair-finance-loss-and-damage-era-escalating-climate-impacts