Shropshire Star

Initial £2m investment sparked climate loss and damage debate, claims Yousaf

The Scottish First Minister said the fund must not increase the debt burden of recipient countries.

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Humza Yousaf

An initial Scottish Government investment of £2 million to counter loss and damage sparked by climate change “ignited a debate” which led to a 650 million US dollar (£515 million) fund, Humza Yousaf has said.

World leaders announced on the first day of the Cop28 climate summit in Dubai that the fund would be created, with pledges having grown to more than half-a-billion pounds in less than a week.

The cash will be used to help those in the developing world – often some of the least polluting countries – impacted by climate change.

Speaking following his visit to the summit, the First Minister said an initial pledge from Scotland at Cop26 in Glasgow had led to this point.

“At Cop26 in Glasgow, Scotland became the first developed nation in the world to commit funding to address loss and damage,” he said.

“That £2 million commitment ignited a debate and showed global leadership.

Cop28 summit
Cop28 opening in Dubai last week (PA)

“Despite being a relatively small amount in the context of the overall challenge, that commitment now shows that the voices of small nations are crucial for climate justice and can make a big difference.”

This year, the First Minster pledged a further £2 million in support.

He said: “Since then, we have shown further solidarity with those who have been campaigning on loss and damage for some time, and urged other countries to commit the finance needed to address the challenge – and I am encouraged by the progress already made on loss and damage at this Cop.

“It shows that Scotland can play our part on the world stage, and we have the influence and global standing to turn a £2 million investment into over half a billion dollars worth of funding from some of the most powerful nations in the world, like Germany, the USA, and the UAE, in just two years.”

But the First Minister said it is “imperative” the money raised does not hamper the finances of recipients by adding to their debt burden.

“We are at a crucial juncture, and as one of the nations that led the world into the industrial age, it is vital that Scotland continues to take a leading role in the just transition to net zero,” he said.

“We will continue sharing our expertise and learning from our friends and partners on this journey to keep global warming limited to 1.5C – an ambition which has never been more urgent.”

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