In June we began our campaign on Climate Debt with a clear objective: to encourage the Scottish Government to take a leading, influential role on Climate Justice, and more specifically on Debt Justice.
We were looking for them to set positive examples both to other world leaders and to private creditors, and we let them know this through a letter-writing campaign, direct communication via our MSP briefing, a public stunt, and a webinar.
It was a whirlwind couple of weeks at COP26 in Glasgow, with both good and bad moments, and while the overall outcome may not represent the game-changing action we were all looking for, we were pleased to see that the Scottish Government tripled its Climate Justice Fund, and that £2 million of which was dedicated to Loss and Damage.
Furthermore, on a broader scale, the importance of debt in developing countries was recognised amongst the final agreements. This is key as it gives us the space to continue to apply pressure for concrete action, which we will.
During COP26, 243 Civil Society Organisations called for debt cancellation in recognition of the larger “climate debt” owed by the Global North to the Global South. This was backed by 43 UK Members of Parliament in a cross-party letter sent to UK Secretary of State for the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Liz Truss.
Here at Jubilee Scotland, we are determined to continue to put pressure on the Scottish Government and private creditors to offer some relief to Global South countries who are suffering at the hands of unjust debt. The UK’s COP Presidency continues until the end of 2022, meaning the Scottish Government’s role as an influential advocate likewise continues.
We have had a meeting with Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, Jenny Gilruth MSP, alongside Global Justice Now, where we discussed the debt crisis in Zambia. The Minister agreed to contact Zambian civil society organisations for their perspective, and to raise the matter with Vicky Ford MP, the UK government’s Minister for Africa.
Furthermore, we have sent Christmas E-Cards to MSPs to encourage them to keep Climate Justice at the forefront of their mind and not let it slip by the way-side post-COP! You can read more about our MSP asks for the rest of the UK Presidency here.
This is an invitation to you to help us remind them by taking action and contacting Jenny Gilruth or your local MSP, whether that be via the letter template, email or twitter, to let them know that Scotland want to see more positive change, both nationally and internationally.
Read more about debt-related wins at COP26 here, as well as finding a full summary by our sister organisation, Jubilee Debt Campaign, here, plus scroll down to find a video highlighting Jubilee Scotland’s experiences at COP.
As our Climate Debt campaign comes to a close, our focus returns to stage two of our campaign against Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Scotland, with big thanks to Friends Provident Foundation who will be funding the campaign from March 2022.
We will be campaigning against the use of Public Private Partnerships in Scotland. PPPs are long-term contracts where the private sector designs, builds, finances and operates an infrastructure project.
PPPs have saddled the Scottish public sector with poor service provision, lack of accountability and unsafe buildings. The Scottish Government have criticised PPPs but failed to take sufficient action to help councils find viable alternatives.
It is time to end a system where short-term thinking and private greed are draining the public purse. We are calling on the Scottish Government to rethink Private Financing of Scottish Public Projects.
We look forward to the new year and to stage two of the PPP campaign, and we want to send out a huge thank you for all of your support throughout 2021!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Jubilee Scotland Team