Climate action for world’s poorest


Scotland will host a major conference to seize a once-in-a-generation chance to enshrine human rights in economic development and climate change policy.

Speaking as the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha enters its crucial final phase, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse said that Scotland can lead world thinking in making a difference for those communities across the world least able to cope with the extreme weather events climate change brings.

The announcement of plans for an international conference on climate justice builds on the Scottish Government announcement of the first-ever recipients of Scotland’s £3 million Climate Justice Fund, and has been praised by former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, who campaigns on climate justice through the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.

Mr Wheelhouse said:                                            

“In recent years, Scotland’s leading role in tackling climate change has been acknowledged by all quarters and many influential people, from UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to social rights activist Desmond Tutu, and heralded by the international development community and civic society in Scotland. Our world-leading targets encourage other nations and regions to step up and embrace the global challenge we all face.

“It is very evident that all parties here in Doha need to go the extra mile in their level of commitment to progress this crucial agenda. That is why Scotland will commit to hosting a conference that will bring together international businesses, civic society and leading thinkers from across the globe to push forward the climate justice agenda, which is a central issue for human rights in the 21st century. 

“It is vitally important that, as the world moves towards economic recovery in 2013, we reflect Scotland’s values and place climate justice at the very heart of the decisions we make on energy policy and economic and social development.

“Just last week I announced the first ever recipients of our innovative Climate Justice Fund, which is a world-first and further illustrates how Scotland is taking its international obligations seriously.

“Only by focusing on the inequalities brought on by climate change, can we formulate meaningful policies that will truly help the poorest in the global community. I therefore urge all nations to join us in Scotland next Autumn to look at how we can shape our global future.”

The First Minister and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, raised climate justice in a joint communiqué to the UNFCCC last year, and Mrs Robinson joined Mr Salmond in Edinburgh in May this year to launch Scotland’s innovative the Climate Justice Fund.

Mrs Robinson said:

“This international conference on climate justice will help to facilitate an inclusive dialogue and shape a climate justice narrative to drive for the urgency and ambition we need to reach an equitable and legally binding climate agreement in 2015.”

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said:

“The Scottish Human Rights Commission welcomes this announcement of an international conference on climate justice. This is an opportunity for Scotland to demonstrate what it means to champion climate justice at home and abroad - arguably the most compelling human rights global challenge of this century. It will also contribute to the international momentum necessary for a global legally binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions.”

Related Information

Climate Justice Fund successful projects