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.
That was the message from Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse after he returned from the United Nations conference in Doha.
Mr Wheelhouse said:
“An agreement by the EU and a limited number of other forward thinking countries to enter into a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol, and a workplan to achieving a global deal in 2015, are encouraging outcomes from the Doha conference.
“The Scottish Government recognises the urgency of tackling climate change – which is why we adopted our own stretching statutory targets for emissions reduction – and if we are to be successful in keeping global temperature rises below two degrees Celsius, all countries worldwide must now play their part to ensure that an ambitious, global, legally binding deal is agreed by 2015 and in place by 2020.
“Scotland will continue to push for higher targets from the EU and its member states, and I strongly encourage other countries that have not yet made such a commitment to raise their ambition.
“In Doha, I shared evidence from Scotland on the benefits of making the transition to a low carbon economy, and pushed for higher ambition and a commitment to climate justice.
“Having had discussions with Mary Robinson and NGOs, including the World Resources Institute, I announced in Doha that Scotland will host a major international conference on climate justice next year and I would urge all countries to unite in a common goal: to help some of the world’s poorest people from being hit the hardest by climate change.
“This conference is further evidence of the Scottish Government’s commitment to raise awareness and bring about climate justice.
“In the last fortnight I announced the first five projects in Malawi and Zambia which 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.
“During the conference we were also able to confirm we will be working with United Nations Development Programme to support the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. We will develop a renewable energy toolkit that draws on our experience in Scotland to support communities in the developing world to access clean energy. Alongside the toolkit, we will provide capacity building support to the Government of Malawi to help design a Renewable Energy and Climate Strategy for the country.
“The international leadership Scotland is showing on sustainable development and low carbon economy is increasingly being recognised by stakeholders and our partner developing nations as setting an example for others to follow. Scots tend to be modest by nature, but our role is something we can and should all be proud of.”