Monday, 2 January 2012

Year of Climate Justice

First Minister Alex Salmond has urged world leaders to make 2012 a 'year of climate justice' ahead of a major United Nations conference on sustainable development in June.

The FM said climate justice should be the focus of sustainable development during 2012 and form a major part of discussions at the Rio+20 to be held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Climate justice would link human rights and development, put people at the heart of our economic system, and allow all to share the burdens of climate change and benefit from its resolution.

The call comes after the FM raised the issue of climate justice during a speech to the influential Communist Central Party School in Beijing during his recent trip to China.

Climate justice was also raised by the FM and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a joint communiqué to the UNFCCC meeting in Durban, South Africa, earlier this month.

Mr Salmond said:

"It is vitally important that, as the world moves towards economic recovery in 2012, we place climate justice at the very heart of the decisions we make on energy policy and economic and social development in the coming months.

"I believe we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enshrine this important principle - that economic development should be linked to human rights - in global energy policy, ensuring that countries and communities least able to cope with the extreme weather events climate change brings are not further disadvantaged.

"In the run up to the UN Rio+20 conference in Brazil in June and beyond, I am calling for climate justice to be made central to decisions taken by major countries on energy and development.

"It is also my sincere hope, given the fact one of the themes of this year's conference is the green economy linked to sustainable development, that climate justice forms an important part of Scotland's contribution to Rio+20.

"Only by focusing on the inequalities brought on by climate change, can we formulate meaningful policies that will truly help the poorest in our global society, and I urge all world leaders and decision makers to make 2012 the Year of Climate Justice."
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