Developing countries must be helped to tackle climate change, says Sturgeon

It is impossible to tackle the climate crisis without recognising the need for climate justice, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking at the Global Climate Justice Forum at Glasgow Caledonian University on Wednesday, Scotland’s First Minister said some of the countries most impacted by climate change have often been those who have contributed least to it.

She said countries that have become prosperous partly as a result of greenhouse gas emissions must help other countries.

“The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly evident in developed countries – we are seeing more extreme weather events such as severe storms and droughts,” she said.

“But of course, the consequences are far more serious in many developing nations.

“For island and low-lying nations, climate change poses an existential threat.

“Many other counties are facing humanitarian emergencies as a result of drought or flooding.

“That in turn can lead to a mass displacement of populations.

“The countries which are most affected are usually those who have done least to cause climate change.”

Ms Sturgeon also said the most vulnerable members of society – the very old and the very young – as well as women, have been disproportionately affected by climate change.

“It is impossible to properly tackle the climate crisis without recognising the need for climate justice at the heart of everything we do,” the First Minister said.

“Countries like ours, which have become prosperous partly as a result of greenhouse gas emissions, need to help those that are being impoverished right now as a result of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Scotland is determined to do our bit, to play our part, to live up to our moral responsibility.”

The First Minister has already declared the world is facing a “climate emergency” and has pledged Scotland will play its part to help combat rising temperatures.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

Outlining Scotland’s commitment to tackling the global climate crisis, Ms Sturgeon also announced details of the Big Climate Conversation, which aims to engage with thousands of people and businesses about the steps they can take to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The First Minister said people from across the country must work together in order to achieve Scotland’s climate goals.

Ms Sturgeon said: “All of this has to be a truly national endeavour. And it has to be done in a way that is fair.

“That’s why the Scottish Government is launching the Big Climate Conversation to encourage communities, businesses and the public sector to talk about what action we can all take.

“Our public engagement programme under the Big Climate Conversation will launch next week.

“There will be consultation events around the country with communities and businesses; we will help organisations to stage their own events, and we will reach many more people through digital communications.

“We hope to reach thousands of people and organisations to hear about their concerns, priorities and ambitions.

“We want to understand what changes Scottish people are willing to make and what they want Government to do to tackle the global climate emergency.”