Climate Justice Fund

Climate change and nature loss are the greatest threats facing people and our planet and we’re already seeing the impact here in Scotland. Read more about Scotland’s commitment on climate change.

Climate justice recognises that the poor and vulnerable at home and overseas are the first to be affected by climate change, and will suffer the worst, yet have done little or nothing to cause the problem.

Our climate justice approach tackles embedded inequalities and supports developing countries become more resilient to climate change – particularly through our Climate Justice Fund.

Our Climate Justice Fund programme is closely aligned with our International Development Fund work. There is a similar focus on our international development partner countries and the application of our International Development Principles (March 2021), created during our review of our approach to international development in light of COVID-19. These principles will be applied in relation to the Climate Justice Fund, climate adaptation and water programmes, with an explicit reference to climate change in the Principles reinforcing our commitment to climate justice.  

Climate Justice Fund: 2012 to 2017

We launched the Climate Justice Fund (CJF) in 2012 to help tackle the effects of climate change in the poorest, most vulnerable countries, with a £3 million budget.

In 2014, a further tranche of £3 million was added to the CJF to fund more projects.

In 2015, at COP21 in Paris, we committed to providing £3 million per year from 2016 to 2021 through the Climate Challenge Fund Malawi and the Climate Justice Innovation Fund (totalling £12 million over five years). This is in addition to our annual £10 million International Development Fund.


From 2012 to 2016, the CJF's contribution to projects in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Rwanda:

  • provided 110,000 people with training in climate change and water rights issues
  • established 217 village-level committees to support water resource management and resilience
  • improved agricultural practices and irrigation services for more than 11,000 people, which has helped to increase crop yield
  • planted more than 122,000 trees
  • provided sources of alternative income to more than 1,000 people in Malawi, including livestock-rearing, fish farming and honey production
  • together with £6 million from our Hydro Nation initiative, gave more than 70,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa access to safe drinking water

Allocations in 2016

In 2016, the CJF was allocated as follows:

  • £570k to extend a number of our Round 2 projects, in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Rwanda for an additional 12 months
  • £2 million to the University of Strathclyde over 2016 to 2018 to extend the Water Futures programme, helping more communities in the Lower Shire Basin in rural Malawi access groundwater resources protected from the impacts of climate change (read the news story: Hydro Nation Water Futures boost for Malawi)
  • £1 million to the UN Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency (2016 to 2017) on a one-off basis
  • £350,000 to the Malawi food insecurity crisis humanitarian response (2016 to 2017)

Climate Justice Fund: 2017 onwards

From 2017, the CJF will be distributed via two new programmes, launched in 2017, which signify a more strategically focused approach going forward. These programmes are:

  • the Climate Challenge Programme Malawi (CCPM), based around the principles of our successful domestic Climate Challenge Fund
  • the Climate Justice Innovation Fund (CJIF)

Climate Challenge Programme Malawi

Funded by the CJF, the £3.2m Climate Challenge Programme Malawi (2017-2020) will support a select group of rural communities to identify and implement their own solutions for adapting to and building resilience against the worst effects of climate change. This contributes directly to many of the UN Global Goals, especially Goal 13 on climate action.

Climate Justice Innovation Fund

We launched the Climate Justice Innovation Fund (CJIF) on 5 June 2017 to support projects developing innovative solutions for strengthening African communities against the effects of climate change.

The CJIF is managed and administered by the Corra Foundation (formerly Lloyds TSB Foundation), who have managed our International Development Small Grants Programme since 2014.

On 17 September 2017 it was announced that £600,000 of CJIF funding will be split between six Scottish organisations who are working with African partners on projects in our sub-Saharan priority countries of Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda over the next three years.

Find out more about details of the successful awards and the CJIF.

Malawi Water Stewardship Initiative

In addition to our other programme work, the Climate Justice Fund is supporting a project in collaboration with Water Witness International to test out a new standard for water stewardship. Read the Malawi Water Stewardship Initiative: end of year one progress report 2017-2018.

Independent evaluation of the Climate Justice Fund (2021)

In March 2021, we announced an independent evaluation of the Climate Justice Fund’s work to date in delivering climate justice objectives to help inform how we best support climate justice initiatives beyond 2021. Our evaluation has been built on the experiences of communities in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda who have implemented or are supported by the Fund first hand. This recognises that communities in the Global South are the first to be affected by climate change, and will suffer the worst.

Climate Justice Fund - 2022 increase

In September 2021, we announced the doubling of our financial support for the world’s poorest and more vulnerable communities in their efforts to tackle the impacts of climate change. Starting next year, the Climate Justice Fund will increase to £6 million per year, providing £24 million across this Parliament.