First Climate Justice funding


The first-ever recipients of a Scottish scheme to help some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to respond to the impact of climate change have been announced.

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, has revealed that a series of projects in Malawi and Zambia will benefit from Scotland’s £3 million Climate Justice Fund, with this first-round funding focused on helping the communities most impacted by climate change access clean and safe water.

The five projects supported by the Climate Justice Fund are:

  • £485,649 for Voluntary Service Overseas to helps villages and district planning officials in Malawi to work in partnership to plan for and address the impact of extreme weather, working to support the most marginalised people
  • £490,097 for Oxfam Scotland to work with small-scale farmers in Zambia, especially women, so they can adapt to climate change and improve water access and sanitation, including support for more productive and sustainable farming methods
  • £499,694 for Tearfund to work at a district and community level in Malawi to increase the availability of clean and safe water – and cut water-born disease – targeted at people most effected by climate change
  • £499,606 to the SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) to develop water management strategies in Malawi, working with the poorest rural communities
  • £463,096 for a University of Strathclyde project in Malawi to help rural communities and local government respond to the need to increase underground water access while addressing the impact on water supply as a result of climate change

Climate justice will be discussed at the UN’s annual climate change conference in Doha, which Mr Wheelhouse will attend next week. Announcing the funding at a climate justice event hosted by Amnesty International Scotland, WWF Scotland and Christian Aid Scotland, Mr Wheelhouse said:

"The huge injustice of climate change is that those who have done the least to cause the problem – the most vulnerable from the world’s poorest communities – are the hardest hit. That’s why Scotland is supporting climate justice – a key issue for human rights in the 21st Century that I will be championing in Doha next week.

"Our innovative Climate Justice Fund is a world-first and further illustrates how Scotland is taking its international obligations seriously. Therefore I’m pleased to announce these five awards for projects that will help some of the most vulnerable people in Malawi and Zambia respond to climate change.

"Clean and safe water access is something that people in Scotland take for granted, yet for many in the developing world that is not the case. This funding will help improve the quality of lives for communities in Malawi and Zambia, making them more resilient and aware of the serious changes brought about by climate change."

Siobhan Reardon, Acting Programme Director for Amnesty International Scotland, said:

"Climate change adversely impacts the most fundamental of human rights, including the right to life, health, housing, food and water; with the most devastating results being felt by women and children. Climate justice makes this crucial link between the environmental effects of climate change and human rights.

"Amnesty International welcomes the Scottish Government’s human rights approach to climate justice. This approach must now be turned into clear policies putting human rights at the heart of Scotland’s international economic framework."

Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said:

"We cannot stand by and let some of the world’s poorest people pay the human price for Scotland’s climate-changing emissions – past and present.

"Climate change threatens to limit choices for those who already have limited choices with increased exposure to drought, storms and floods undermining their efforts to build a better life for themselves.

"We must do more to support the world's 500 million small scale farmers – this Scottish Government funding for our work in Zambia is therefore hugely welcome."

Philippa Bonella, SCIAF’s Head of Communications and Education welcomed the grant and said:

"Climate change is hitting people in developing countries first and hardest.  This money will help vulnerable communities in Malawi to cope with climate change by improving their water harvesting and irrigation systems.  The Scottish Government should be commended for taking a pro-active lead on providing climate adaptation funding for developing nations and others should follow."

Professor Robert M Kalin, University of Strathclyde Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said:

"Climate change is certain to have a significant impact on the groundwater resources of Malawi. This will include the degradation of water resources, inadequate sustainability and increasing water demand as a result of increasing population.

"This funding provides us with opportunity to address the long-term groundwater management issues. We intend to build capacity among communities and district councils in the Chikwawa region to practice Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) principles, making rural communities more resilient. This will support the Malawi Government to balance the significant need to increase groundwater use, with the impact brought on by climate change."

The Climate Justice Fund announcement comes ahead of this year’s annual UN climate talks which will be held in Doha and attended by Mr Wheelhouse. Scotland’s world-leading role in addressing the issue of climate justice has been praised by former UN High Commissioner Mary Robinson and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Related information

Climate Justice Fund successful projects

Climate Justice Fund announced by First Minister and Mary Robinson

Scotland tops EU-15 Member States table for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Climate Justice video