HUMZA Yousaf has announced a further £2 million in funding for loss and damage caused by climate change in marginalised communities at COP28.

The Scottish Government has already set aside £7m for the cause over the past two years. 

The First Minister, who is currently at the climate summit in Dubai, has now set out £1m for C40 Cities to come from Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund, while a further £1m will be donated, in partnership with charity Give Directly, to support communities in Malawi dealing with the impacts of climate change.

At COP26 in Glasgow two years ago, then-first minister Nicola Sturgeon was given an award after Scotland doubled its commitment to a loss and damage fund to £2m, becoming the first developed nation to do so. Ahead of COP27, a further £5m investment was announced.

READ MORE: What is 'loss and damage' and how has Scotland led the way?

Yousaf has continued championing the issue at this year’s summit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with an agreement reached on funding on the first day of talks.

The breakthrough deal saw the UAE and Germany both pledge £100m (£79m) to the loss and damage start up fund.

Speaking at a COP28 panel discussion with delegates from Bangladesh, Sierra Leone and France, and a youth representative from Argentina, on Scotland’s contribution to addressing loss and damage, Yousaf announced the further funding.

Yousaf said: “Our world-first Climate Justice Fund will continue to focus on communities most affected by climate change, and in order to deliver for those who need it most we must ensure the views and needs of those typically marginalised in such communities – particularly urban voices from the Global South and youth perspectives – are heard.

The National: First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf with King Charles III as they visit Heriot-Watt University

“This funding for the Inclusive Climate Action programme will support cities in the Global South to deliver local inclusive climate action, build resilience for residents, pilot city-led approaches to loss and damage and build cities’ influence in global policy debates.”

The FM added that while it is of “immense importance”, funding is not the only way to deal with loss and damage.

He added: “Devolved governments have a crucial and essential role to play in addressing loss and damage and the global journey to net zero – responsibility for over half of the emissions cuts needed at a global level lie with devolved state and regional governments.

“The C40 Cities programme aligns with our Climate Justice principles, and will provide cities with support that builds resilience and can be scaled up to meet community need.”

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C40 Cities is a global network of nearly 100 mayors committed to halving their fair share of emissions by 2030.

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital and largest city, and C40 co-chair, said: “The climate crisis is a global issue which causes local pain and consequences across generations. Loss and damage is fundamentally an issue of climate justice, as those who have contributed the least to climate breakdown are the ones who most bear the brunt of its chaos.

"This is true between countries and regions, but also between generations and gender, as well as within our cities, where the most vulnerable are the most severely affected.

“I thank the Scottish Government for its leadership in climate justice and support to C40. This funding will support cities in the Global South to deliver for their residents through local inclusive climate action, building resilience and piloting innovative city-led approaches to loss and damage.”

The National:

António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, welcomed the breakthrough of funding on the first day of COP28 talks on Thursday as an “essential tool for delivering climate justice”.

“I call on leaders to make generous contributions and get the Fund and the Climate Conference started on a strong footing,” he added.

In response, Yousaf wrote on Twitter/X: “Proud Scotland became the first country in the Global North during COP26 to commit funding to Loss & Damage.

“Pleased to see #Cop28 agree to operationalise a Loss & Damage Fund. Imperative money is mobilised in a way that does not add to the debt burden of the Global South.”

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And, Sturgeon (above) added: “Delighted to see progress to operationalise the Loss & Damage Fund at #COP28 - @scotgov led the way on this at #COP26 in Glasgow. There is much work still to do, but this important milestone is a tribute to the tireless work of so many people, not least the late @SaleemulHuq.”

The issue of loss and damage has long been a controversial issue among rich countries, as developed countries were reluctant to admit their role in paying compensation for damage caused by climate change.

Some of the poorest countries in the world are facing increasingly extreme weather events, such as the floods in Pakistan, and are struggling to mitigate the damage.