Scottish government facing ‘crucial credibility test’ at Edinburgh conference

The Scottish government must investigate how spending and tax options could be used to boost investment in climate action, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) has said.

The climate coalition of over 60 civil society organisations says the government faces a ‘crucial credibility test’ at an international conference held in Edinburgh this week.

Participants will discuss climate-induced loss and damage and the organisation says the government should commit to supporting Scottish communities in such situations.

SCCS is also urging the government to invest in home insulation and expand free public transport to address the climate and cost of living crises, with investment coming from the biggest polluters to deliver climate justice.

The two-day conference will begin on Tuesday and will involve climate experts, representatives of states and regions, and investors to talk about finance solutions.

car on body of water

Becky Kenton-Lake, Coalition Manager of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: ‘The First Minister has shown leadership on the need for rich, high polluting nations to commit financial support to communities facing devastating losses and damages because of the climate crisis. Importantly, she has said that this is not an act of charity, but one of reparation.

‘However, by hosting these talks, the Scottish Government faces a crucial credibility test, and it must show it is also willing to walk the talk by investing more in climate action in Scotland, financed in ways that make polluters pay.

‘We’re nearly three years into this critical decade of climate action and, after a damaging hat-trick of missed emissions targets, Scotland must urgently build on the pandemic-related dip by significantly accelerating investment,’

At COP26 the Scottish government became the first in the world to dedicate £2 million of funding to addressing loss and damage, however questions remain on how to finance this globally.

The issue is high on the agenda for COP27 to be held in Egypt, with high-polluting nations under pressure to agree to finance climate remediations for poorer nations.

A recent report by SCCS found actions to address the climate crisis should also complement cost-of-living measures and advised policymakers take a ‘polluter pays’ approach.

The group suggests First Minister Nicola Sturgeon should announce an independent group to report on the recommendations made and commit to finding additional finance through this approach.

‘It would be incoherent for Scotland to show this important global leadership on addressing loss and damage created by the climate crisis whilst at the same time creating yet more of it due to our own emissions,’ added Ms Kenton-Lake. ‘We must confront the reality that we need to raise significant new finance, in fair ways, to invest in faster climate action.’

SCCS is calling for both the UK and Scottish governments, as well as local authorities, to:

  • Incentivise emissions reduction, by enabling behaviour change and protecting those on low incomes
  • Increase overall funds of activities which can accelerate emissions reduction, in a socially and climate just manner, so Scottish legal targets are met
  • Raise current and additional funding to deliver climate justice at home and make polluters pay, acknowledging increased wealth is associated with higher emissions

Photo by Chris Gallagher


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