Nicola Sturgeon pledges £12m at climate summit

People make the 'Pray for Paris' sign beside the Eiffel Tower. Picture: AFP/Getty

People make the 'Pray for Paris' sign beside the Eiffel Tower. Picture: AFP/Getty

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Scotland is to invest an extra 
£12 million to help tackle climate change in the world’s poorest countries, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The First Minister will be making a keynote appearance today at the UN global climate change summit in Paris and unveiled a doubling of the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund for countries such as Malawi and Zambia.

Ms Sturgeon said it is a “massive injustice” that the developing countries that have produced the lowest greenhouse gasses are facing the worst consequences from other countries’ pollution.

Ms Sturgeon will today meet UN high commissioner for human rights Mary Robinson and Oxfam international executive director Winnie Byanyima.

She said: “We know that the most vulnerable are worst affected by climate change: the very young, the very old, the ill, and the very poor. Women are suffering disproportionately, since they are often the main providers of food, fuel and water.

“So, the people who have done least to cause climate change, and are least equipped to cope with its consequences, are the people who are being hit hardest. The scale of the injustice is massive.”

Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund has already invested 
£6 million for 11 projects in four sub-Saharan African countries in the last five years, including providing around 30,000 people with safe water in Malawi.

It came as International Development Secretary Justine Greening launched a new insurance scheme for developing nations to cope with global warming-related disasters at the Paris summit. She said rising temperatures put stability, prosperity and security at risk.

The initiative by the group of G7 major economies pledges $420 million (£280m) of public money to give some of the most vulnerable countries, in places including Africa and the Caribbean, access to insurance against climate change risks such as extreme storms and flooding. It will extend insurance cover to an extra 180 million people as part of a G7 goal to help insure an additional 400 million people by 2020.

The UK government has faced criticism for committing to spending 0.7 per cent of the country’s economic output on aid, and addressing climate change in other countries when people in the UK are already being affected by the consequences, such as ­flooding.

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