SCOTLAND should lead the way in better compensating poor countries for the loss and damage they have suffered as a result of climate change, a coalition of 55 organisations has said. 

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) said rich nations responsible for fuelling the climate emergency must offer developing countries more financial support to help them adapt to climate change.

SCCS said the Scottish Government’s climate justice fund has been frozen at just £3 million a year since 2016.

But as Glasgow is hosting the United Nations climate change conference COP26 next year, it said the host nation should “show global leadership” and ramp up its support while urging other nations to do the same.

The call comes as Oxfam today releases a report saying wealthy countries are over-reporting the true value of their climate change aid to developing countries by billions of dollars.

Anne Funnemark, campaign director at the Jubilee Scotland charity and lead author of a new SCCS report, said: “The climate emergency is, quite literally, costing the earth for developing countries. 

“Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, rich countries must demonstrate that they will stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s poorest people by offering more financial support to countries on the frontline of the climate emergency to adapt to climate change while also compensating them for their losses.  

“As home to the host city of COP26, the Scottish Government has the opportunity to show global leadership by boosting the support it gives to poor countries via its climate justice fund while encouraging other countries to take similar action.”  

Oxfam’s new analysis says that of the nearly $60 billion reportedly spent on average per year in 2017 and 2018 on climate finance, the true value of support may be as little as $19-22.5bn per year. 

The charity said most of this money is given as loans, adding to the crippling debts many developing countries already face. 

In addition, only a fifth (20.5 per cent) of climate finance went to the poorest countries.  

In 2009, developed countries committed to mobilise $100bn a year in climate finance by 2020 to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce their emissions. 

At the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow next year, nations will begin negotiations on new goals to replace this commitment from 2025. 

Both SCCS and Oxfam are calling for rich countries to set stronger targets.

The Oxfam report also calls for a new funding mechanism to compensate developing countries for the loss and damage caused by climate change, including land lost to sea level rise and the destruction of homes and livelihoods.  

The charity said the plight of Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest countries, demonstrates the need for the international community to take urgent action. 

Last year, Cyclone Idai caused damage which amounted to around half the country’s national budget. 

Jamie Livingstone, a board member of SCCS and head of Oxfam Scotland, said there has been an “abject failure to adequately support poorer countries”.

He said: “The Scottish Government must seize the chance to show that Scotland will not abandon those being hardest hit by climate change to their fate: instead, we will significantly increase the amount of financial support we give poor countries and encourage others to do likewise.

“Doing so now, well ahead of the global climate talks in Glasgow, would send a powerful message to a watching world that climate change is not just a matter of science, technology or economics; it is a matter of justice.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said its focus is “rightly on saving lives and protecting people’s jobs” during the coronavirus pandemic.

She added: “But amid these enormous challenges, the climate emergency has not gone away – far from it – and we remain absolutely committed to a green recovery and to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045.

“But just as we will ensure a just transition to net zero in Scotland, we recognise our moral obligation to help set the world on course to net zero in a way that is fair for all.

“Climate justice recognises that the poor and vulnerable at home and overseas are the first to be affected by climate change, and will suffer the worst, despite having done little or nothing to cause the problem.

“Our world first Climate Justice Fund will continue to support communities in our partner countries of Malawi, Zambia, and Rwanda become more resilient to climate change.

“The powerful work done to date will help inform how we support climate justice initiatives as Scotland prepares for Glasgow to host COP26, and beyond 2021.”