Scotland benefited from industrialisation – must shoulder burden, says minister

·2-min read

Scotland has a responsibility to aid the developing world combat the impacts of climate change because it “benefited from industrialisation”, a Scottish Government minister has said.

Speaking at an event during Cop26 on climate justice, environment minister Mairi McAllan also told attendees that environmental policy not designed with “fairness, justice and inclusivity at its heart” will fail.

Since the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1970s, Scotland has boasted some of the biggest oil fields in Europe in its waters, with the contribution to the UK economy stretching to £24 billion in 2019.

At Cop26, the minister said, the Scottish Government has tried to elevate the voices of people from developing countries.

“Scotland is not a state party at Cop, but we have a very unique role as the government of the host city,” she said.

“Our intention is to use that role to be a bridge, a bridge between those in the negotiating room and I suppose what you could say is everybody else.

“We challenge ourselves at Cop, as we do in developing our climate justice policy, to ask ourselves at all times who are we not hearing from and elevate the voices of those people.”

Ms McAllan pointed to a number of actions, including an event attended by the First Minister this week at the climate summit in Glasgow bringing together female leaders from across the world to discuss the need for women to be in positions of power to impact climate change.

“All of this is in recognition of two main points; firstly that climate policy, if not developed with fairness, justice and inclusivity at it’s heart will fail,” she said.

“The second point is that, as a country, we recognise that Scotland has benefited from industrialisation and therefore, along with others we have a responsibility to shoulder much of the response to where we are now.”

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