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Oxfam Praises Announcement of Scottish Climate Justice Fund

Posted by Lindsay Clydesdale Campaigns Press Officer, Scotland

1st Mar 2012

The international aid group says the move will place Scotland at the forefront of global efforts to tackle this vital issue.

Today's climate justice debate at Holyrood is understood to be a worldwide parliamentary first on the issue. Consensus broke out in Parliament as all parties came together to support the establishment of a Scottish Climate Justice Fund.

Oxfam welcomes the commitment that the fund will be additional to existing budgets. Oxfam called on Scotland's political parties to support the establishment of such a fund during the Scottish elections last year [1]. Poor communities living in developing countries are the most effected by climate change, yet have done the least to cause it.

Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said: "Today marks a milestone for Scotland. Not only has the Scottish Parliament been the first parliamentary chamber to debate Climate Justice worldwide but by announcing that Scotland will launch a Climate Justice Fund in the spring, Scotland is again leading the way by setting an example for other countries to follow in championing and delivering climate justice.

"Oxfam sees the fight against poverty and the fight against the effects of climate change as interrelated efforts. Developing countries will need to develop their own adaptation plans but many do not have the funds to invest in protecting their own people so the international community will need to assist them.

"Oxfam Scotland therefore congratulates the Scottish Government on its innovative Climate Justice Fund. We note that the fund will rightly be used to finance projects in developing countries, specifically aimed at supporting poor communities to adapt to the negative effects of climate change and in doing so, complement Scotland's world leading climate legislation.

"Oxfam Scotland looks forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure that the Climate Justice Fund can be a best exemplar for other countries to follow to deal with climate injustice.

"The Scottish Government and indeed the Parliament as a whole should be praised for coming together and agreeing that Scotland and other developed countries have a moral duty to tackle climate injustice and to assist those developing countries who are negatively effected by climate change.

"It was also pleasing to hear the Parliament come together to highlight the less well-known consequences of climate change, such as the way global warming impacts more heavily on women, whom are often expected to walk further and work harder, to fetch water or produce food for their families."

[1] Oxfam article 'Have you backed Scotland's international climate adaptation fund?' - April 11, 2011.

The UN estimates that climate change could increase the number of people facing water scarcity by 1.8 billion and increase those facing coastal flooding by many millions.

Developing countries bear more than nine-tenths of the human and economic burden, while the 50 poorest countries contribute less than one per cent of the emissions that are heating up the planet.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) calculated that 12 million more children under the age of five will be consigned to hunger by 2050 because of climate change - more children than the combined under-five populations of the UK, France and Germany.

Women make up 20 million of the 26 million people estimated to have been displaced by climate change - equivalent to 80 per cent.

Women are also hardest hit by disasters. In the 1991 cyclone in Bangladesh, the death rate for women was almost five times higher than that of men. Women had not been taught to swim and did not receive warning information.

Blog post written by Lindsay Clydesdale

Campaigns Press Officer, Scotland

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