Sturgeon pledges extra £3m towards climate fund for poorer countries

The First Minister announced an increase in annual funding for less wealthy countries to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Sturgeon pledges extra £3m towards climate fund for poorer countries PA Media
Nicola Sturgeon: Government will commit more money to the Climate Justice Fund.

Nicola Sturgeon has committed another £3m a year to the Climate Justice Fund to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.

Scotland’s First Minister announced the government will now spend £9m a year to help less wealthy countries adapt to climate change and attempt to mitigate the impacts of further rises in temperature.

The Scottish contribution to the fund will account for 0.012% of the £74.6bn each year that rich nations pledged to poorer nations at the Cop summit in Copenhagen in 2009.

However, a report for the UN last year concluded that “the only realistic scenarios” show the £74.6bn promise is set to be broken.

Announcing the increase in funding, Sturgeon said rich countries have an “obligation” to commit more money and urged other world leaders to “step up” and give more.

She said: “It is clear that fair climate finance is the key to making real progress at COP26.

“Every vulnerable or developing country I have spoken with has big ambitions for meeting the climate crisis but they do not have the funding for adaptation, for mitigation, or for tackling the loss and damage that is needed to deliver.

“Twelve years on from the commitment by developed nations to provide funding of $100bn a year, that is simply not good enough.

“It is time for leaders of developed countries, large and small, to do what is needed to bridge the remaining gap, and put on the table now the money that is needed to make good on past commitments and unlock progress in other areas.”

The Scottish Government’s £3m increase will take its contribution to the Climate Justice Fund to £24m over the course of the parliamentary term and comes just two months after it announced it would be doubled to £6m.

Sturgeon added: “Scotland is a relatively small country of just five million people, and we do not have substantial powers of borrowing. That means our contribution will always be relatively small in a global context.

“However, we can still lead by example and there has never been a more vital time to do so.

“All of my conversations with delegates from the global south over these two weeks – and the obvious need to increase the overall ambition of the draft cover text published yesterday – have convinced me that rich countries must do more on finance in the final hours of COP if we are to secure the best possible outcome.

“That is not charity, it is our obligation.”

She continued: “My message today is simple. If Scotland can up its contribution, there is no good reason why the larger, developed countries around the negotiating table cannot do so too.

“I call on all leaders to step up and secure the outcome from this Glasgow COP that our planet needs.”

The head of Oxfam Scotland, Jamie Livingstone, welcomed the funding increase.

“This announcement from the First Minister has hugely raised the stakes as the COP26 talks enter their final few hours, sending a powerful message to the leaders of other rich nations that it’s simply unconscionable to leave poor countries picking up the tab for a climate crisis they did least to cause,” he said.

“Other governments must now step up and follow Scotland’s lead by making substantial new financial commitments to developing countries, where people are already losing their lives, homes and livelihoods to climate change.”