Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund sets international precedent

News, 7 October 2013
Scotland’s decision to integrate climate justice into international development programming is significant.

The model Scotland is developing for its Climate Justice Fund, including public and private sector contributions, could provide design elements for the Green Climate Fund — a global initiative to unlock hundreds of millions of dollars of finance to help the world reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to support the most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.

So says Simon Anderson, the head of the climate change group at IIED, in two briefing papers prepared for a conference on 9 October where representatives of Scottish government, businesses and civil society will discuss progress on climate justice.

The papers show how changes to the design of Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund could encourage private sector contributions and ensure that the funds reach the people who need them most.

The concept of climate justice recognises that the people who have contributed least to climate change are most at risk from its effect. It recognises the rights and needs of climate-vulnerable poor, demands that resources to tackle climate change are distributed equitably, and promotes the participation of climate-vulnerable people in decisions about how the money gets spent.

"The UN High-Level Panel, co-chaired by David Cameron, urges countries to bring their climate change and sustainable development policies together,” says Anderson. “Scotland is ahead of any other country in seeking ways to achieve this by linking international development programming with management of the Climate Justice Fund.”

Anderson’s briefing papers shows how developments in the design of this fund could ensure that it recognises injustice, enables participation by the poor and distributes finance equitably. The papers also outline several ways to attract private sector contributions to the fund.

Both of these elements in line with what the international community has agreed should be in international funds set up under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – such as the Green Climate Fund – but which to date are still not present.

"To tackle climate change on a global scale, we need genuinely just funds whose private sector contributions dwarf those from government budgets," says Anderson."Scotland has shown international leadership in putting climate justice at the heart of its policy. By bringing in private sector funding, its Climate Justice Fund can be a model for the world to follow."

Download Simon Anderson’s papers.

How can the private sector contribute to delivering climate justice?

Climate justice and international development: policy and programming

More information about Scotland's International Climate Justice Conference


Simon Anderson (

Notes to editors

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development (see:

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