Sending a message from Scotland to the UN climate talks
Scottish climate change minister, Stewart Stevenson, will be joining the UK government delegation to the UN climate talks in Durban any day now. In preparation for this we’ve been calling on him to use his influence as part of the delegation to urge the UK government to stop forcing climate loans onto already indebted countries.
WDM supporters here in Scotland have sent him more than 100 emails over the last couple of weeks, calling for the same thing. And today we joined forces with Jubilee Scotland outside the Scottish Parliament to illustrate our campaign and to act in solidarity with civil society organisations in South Africa holding a ‘World Bank out of climate finance’ day of action.
Scotland has what many describe as ‘world leading’ climate legislation with targets to reduce our emissions here by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The Scottish Parliament trumped Westminster by voting for these targets, as the UK climate act only has a target of 34% by 2020 and the UK government had to be forced to raise its 2050 target from 60% to 80% by the committee on climate change. In passing the Scottish climate change act, Scottish politicians showed that they were willing to act based on what needs to be done to avoid runaway climate change – rather than what they thought might be politically achievable.
We hope that Stewart Stevenson will hold true to this while he’s in Durban with his Westminster colleagues and ensure that the UK government now does what needs to be done on climate finance; and gives grants not loans to developing countries to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Liz Murray is head of campaigns and networks at WDM’s Scottish office.