Sturgeon to urge nations to show ‘much greater commitment’ on climate damage

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Scotland’s First Minister is calling on other developed nations to show “much greater commitment”  to addressing the  loss and damage caused by climate change.

Nicola Sturgeon will make the plea at the Bonn Intersessional meeting in Germany – an event which is described as being a “major milestone in the international climate calendar”.

Ms Sturgeon will use a video address to the summit to stress the climate emergency is the most significant and urgent challenge the world faces.

But it comes as the Scottish Government is being urged to step up its own action.

Oxfam Scotland is urging the Scottish Government to find ‘new ways to make polluters pay’ for the environmental damage they cause (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Oxfam Scotland is urging the Scottish Government to find ‘new ways to make polluters pay’ for the environmental damage they cause (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Campaigners at Oxfam Scotland want ministers in Edinburgh to find “new ways” of making those who pollute the environment “pay for the damage” they cause – with campaigners calling for cash raised to be used to help slash emissions at home as well going to help tackle climate change in developing nations.

Jamie Livingstone, the head of Oxfam Scotland, spoke out on the issue ahead of the latest data on emissions in Scotland being published.

With the Scottish Government having missed its targets for emissions reductions in previous years, new statistics covering emissions for 2020 are due to be revealed on Tuesday.

Ahead of that, Oxfam urged ministers to show the same leadership as during the global Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow last November – when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Scotland was doubling the funding it is making available for loss and damage linked to climate change to £2 million.

Mr Livingstone said: “Scotland showed substantial leadership at Cop26, and it should now do so again by identifying new ways to make polluters pay for the damage they are inflicting and then using this money to slash Scotland’s emissions quickly and equitably, while contributing to climate justice globally.”

Ms Sturgeon meanwhile is expected to tell the talks in Bonn that programmes the Scottish Government is supporting “represent an important first step – in showing how finance for loss and damage can deliver practical benefits”.

One example of this is the provision of grant funding through the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) to help Malawi in the wake of the devastating impact of  Tropical Storm Ana.

The Scottish Government is also looking to share best practice in tackling loss and damage at an international conference it will host this autumn.

But looking ahead to Cop27 in Egypt the First Minister will insist: “At that summit, we still need to see developed countries stepping up – and showing a much greater commitment to address loss and damage.”

She will also stress that “action from devolved, state and regional governments – as well as civil society – will also be vital in driving progress”

Mr Livingstone praised the Scottish Government for becoming the “first government to commit to loss and damage finance”.

He stressed action such as this was essential as “millions of people in low-income countries are being hardest hit by a climate crisis they did least to cause, as more extreme and frequent floods, droughts and storms destroy homes and crops, increasing hunger and displacement.”

But Mr Livingstone said that so far richer nations were “failing to provide sufficient humanitarian aid when weather-related disasters hit”.

He hit out: “Right now low-income nations, who did least to contribute to this crisis, are footing the bill for the impact of rich countries’ emissions – that’s outrageous and must not continue.”

He insisted: “The surest way to prevent more loss and damage is for rich countries, like Scotland, to slash their emissions.

“At the same time, all wealthy countries must take full responsibility for the harm their emissions are causing. This will require new finance to be raised.”

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