First Minister makes first public mention of climate adaptation fund. Alex Salmond says Scotland has a "moral duty" to act

Posted by Adrian Doherty Oxfam Scotland Social & Digital Media Volunteer

12th Jun 2011

Reacting to Alex Salmond's speech on climate change this morning, Oxfam Scotland head Judith Robertson says the Scottish Government should now deliver on its manifesto commitment.

Speaking at the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China, the First Minister spoke of Scotland's particular "moral duty" to support countries in the developing world deal with the effects of climate change.

United Nation talks (COP17) are currently underway in Durban, South Africa, where world Governments are trying to agree on a common approach to cutting emissions. It is widely hoped the talks will see progress on the creation of a 'Green Climate Fund' to help developing nations cope with climate change.

In his speech, the First Minister made his first public mention of the Scottish International Climate Adaptation Fund, which the SNP pledged to co-ordinate in their pre-election manifesto [1].

Building on the success of Scotland's International Development Fund, the new pool of money would help developing nations who are hit heavily by the effects of climate change, for example by helping move communities out of flood plains, or by providing farmers with drought resistant seed.

Head of Oxfam Scotland, Judith Robertson, said:

"We are heartened by Mr Salmond's recognition that climate change is not simply about rising temperatures, but is also about natural justice.

"Mr Salmond is correct to highlight that climate adaptation finance will make a "life or death" difference to some of the world's poor. As the First Minister noted, developed economies such as Scotland's, which owe so much of their current wealth to high-carbon technologies have a "moral duty" to support those countries hit hardest by a rise in global temperature.

"The Scottish Government should now deliver on the International Climate Adaptation Fund, and we look forward to working with them to take this forward.

"This will be important first step in carrying out our obligations to those whose lives and livelihoods are being turned upside down by climate change."

[1] On page 29 of the SNP's re-election manifesto, in the section entitled 'Scotland's Place in the World', it states: "And we will increase our efforts to support developing nations as they respond to the challenges of climate change. We have heard the calls from many for Scotland to create a Climate Adaptation Fund. Given the pressures on the Scottish Government's budget we will work with partners in business, charitable foundations and non-governmental organisations so we can co-ordinate efforts to build a Scotland-wide climate adaptation fund. And as part of our commitment to climate mitigation we will take forward initiatives to share Scottish knowledge, skills and expertise." 

Blog post written by Adrian Doherty

Oxfam Scotland Social & Digital Media Volunteer

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