Rishi Sunak’s claim that the UK will lead green finance is hard to believe given his government’s climate-wrecking record, the Scottish Greens have said.
In a speech to COP26, the Chancellor championed the role of private finance in building a low-carbon global economy and said the UK will be a “net-zero financial centre”.
This comes despite the UK and other major economies lagging far behind the ‘Copenhagen commitment’ to transfer $100bn a year to developing countries for climate adaptation/mitigation.
The $100bn target, agreed in 2009, was to met by 2020, but to date only around a quarter of this money has been provided to nations in the Global South who are already being devasted by the climate emergency.
Responding, Scottish Green finance spokesperson Ross Greer said: “Coming from a UK Government which massively cut its international aid budget and which turns away those seeking refuge from climate breakdown, these words from Rishi Sunak are extremely hard to believe.
“With Brexit trade deals that increase climate emissions and tax cuts for the aviation industry, this UK Government’s focus is on Conservative party donors and their pals on the murkier side of global finance. I dread to think what kind of conditions the UK will place on climate-vulnerable countries who want to access these new funds.
“Instead of lecturing the world, the Chancellor should try leading by example. Only days ago he announced a budget which will increase climate emissions, not lower them.
“Since the Greens have entered government, Scotland has doubled our climate justice fund, and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has praised the fact that we are among the first to commit funding for loss and damage, a crucial point for the global south, where extreme weather events are causing huge damage and costing thousands of lives already.
“If the Westminster government wants to have any credibility at COP26, it must follow the Scottish Government’s lead on climate justice funding. It is actions, not words, which matter here.”