International climate justice, conflict and gender: scoping study

Scottish Government funded research report with ClimateXChange which concluded in 2022. It identifies areas of opportunity for policy makers to develop a gender responsive approach to international climate justice.

Annex 2: The Scottish Government's international development, climate change and peace and conflict work

The Scottish Government's bilateral international development work was officially initiated with the 2005 Cooperation Agreement between The Scottish Government and Malawi. Sixteen years later, the 2021 Programme for Government commits to the creation of 'a new global affairs framework this year to guide The Scottish Government's international engagement, grounded in a value-based approach, and a feminist approach to foreign policy'. The commitment reflects significant progress in the scope and sophistication of The Scottish Government's international development work and foreign policies.

International Development

At the heart of The Scottish Government's international development policies and engagement is the 2016 'Global Citizenships: The Scottish Government's International Development Strategy' (IDS).[130] The IDS was reviewed and refreshed in 2021, with the introduction of eight new guiding principles.[131] It complements The Scottish Government's International Framework and embeds The Scottish Government's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Guiding the IDS, and The Scottish Government's overall approach to its role and relations on the international plane is the notion of The Scottish Government as a 'good global citizen'[132] with a strong sense of solidarity with the global south and understanding of The Scottish Government's privileged position in the world.[133]

To exercise its role as a good global citizen, the IDS focuses in on the 'fight against poverty, injustice and inequality', with a specific commitment to embed human rights across its work.[134] At the forefront is the annual GBP 10 million IDF, whose 'main aim is to support and empower The Scottish Government's partner countries,' Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia and Pakistan.[135] The IDS also provides the framework for the CJF (set to increase to GBP 6 million annually from 2022) and the Humanitarian Emergency Fund (GBP 1 million annually). Common to these funds is how they, through partnerships with Scottish-based NGOs, fund local organisations and initiatives directly.[136] The Scottish Government provides no direct funding to the governments of partner countries.

The 2021 Review of the IDS proposed 'equality' as one of eight new principles. It introduced an emphasis on the disproportionate effects of development challenges – such as poverty and access to education – on women and girls as central to tackling inequality.[137] Participation is also emphasised in the Review, 'because societies need the views and contribution of those who currently live on the periphery, including women'.[138] A key outcome was a commitment to create a new Equalities Funding Stream within the IDF and within that, a commitment to funding projects to promote equality for women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa partner countries.[139]

Beyond the three funds, the IDS emphasises the 'Beyond Aid' agenda – a commitment to take a holistic approach to sustainable development and to share expertise.[140] Domestic policies are intended to align with SDGs and human rights through the National Performance Framework and the Scottish National Action Plan on Human Rights.[141] Demonstrating the Beyond Aid agenda, The Scottish Government's trading strategy sets out contributing to the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework's 'international' indicator as a key goal, and outlines the expectation that Scottish businesses will contribute to 'ethical business practices'.[142] The IDS likewise makes explicit links between domestic and international policy, framing the need to set an 'example through domestic policy' as a key attribute of a good global citizen.[143] The link between the domestic and the international is further underscored by the IDS' 'holistic "do no harm" approach to international development, which recognises how the Scottish Government's choices have consequences for people locally, domestically and internationally.[144]

Climate Change

Climate change and the environment are devolved matters within the powers of the Scottish Government. Today, the Scottish Government's work on climate change is a cornerstone of its international development policies and its role in the international arena. On the international plane, the Scottish Government's work on climate change has been spearheaded by the CJF, established in 2012. The Fund aims to 'help tackle the effects of climate change in the poorest, most vulnerable countries.'[145] The concept of climate justice also guides the Scottish Government's work on climate change more widely. The Climate Justice Policy places at its core a recognition of the unjust ways in which those who have contributed the least to climate change are disproportionately affected by it.[146] A 2021 review of the CJF added to this understanding of climate justice by conceptualizing it as encompassing three distinct pillars: distributive justice, procedural justice, and transformative justice.[147] To date, the CJF has funded Scottish based NGOs to run largely grassroots climate adaptation programmes in The Scottish Government's partner countries.

In addition to the CJF, The Scottish Government has sought to lead on tackling climate change through, inter alia, its submission of an ambitious iNDC and by adopting the legally-binding emission reduction target of reaching net-zero by 2045.[148] As such, the Scottish Government's work on climate change demonstrates strong coherence between domestic and international policies. The Scottish Government is also the European Co-Chair of the Under2 Coalition and has a Cooperation Agreement with the Government of California which commits both governments to work together to tackle climate change. In the run-up to COP26, the Scottish Government co-hosted the Glasgow Dialogues which aimed to amplify global south voices.[149] During the meeting, it announced GBP 1 million, subsequently raised to 2, to 'tackle loss and damage' of climate change, the first high-emitter global north country to commit to this long-standing demand of Least Developed Countries.[150]

Peace and conflict/security

The Scottish Government has committed to adopt a feminist approach to foreign policy, signalling a desire to strengthen the focus on women and girls throughout its international activity. Already, the Scottish Government has since 2016 provided GBP 1.5 million in funding to NGO Beyond Borders for the "Women in Conflict 1325 Fellowship". This programme brings together women activists from a range of conflict-affected countries, providing them with 'expert guidance and capacity building training in conflict resolution, mediation, reconciliation and dialogues methodologies with an emphasis on inclusivity and sustainable conflict resolution'.[151] The Government makes this commitment with explicit reference to implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

The Scottish Government's primary direct assistance to situations of crisis around the world, beyond that which it contributes through the UK, comes from its Humanitarian Emergency Fund. Established in 2017, the fund provides 'assistance to reduce the threat to life and wellbeing to a large number of a population caused by disaster, disease or conflict'.[152]



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