Communities in southern Malawi to receive £3.2m to mitigate climate change

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 6 July 2018 in News

Three-year Climate Change Programme Malawi will aim to take an integrated approach to improving access to food, water and energy

Image credit: Holyrood

Communities in southern Malawi will receive £3.2m to mitigate the effects of climate change, under new funding unveiled by Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

The three-year Climate Change Programme Malawi (CCPM), run by the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF), will aim to take an integrated approach to improving access to food, water and energy for people experiencing the most damaging effects of climate change.

The funding was unveiled ahead of an international conference at the Vatican, aimed at tackling ecological destruction.

With around 90 per cent of Malawians dependent on rain-fed water agriculture and a single harvest each year, communities are being hit by more frequent and severe floods, storms and drought, which can destroy their harvests, homes and livelihoods.

SCIAF director Alistair Dutton said: “Millions of the poorest people in the world are suffering terribly from climate change, despite them having done least to cause the problem.

“Increasingly erratic weather makes it incredibly hard for small scale farmers to know when to plant their seeds, while more frequent and severe floods, drought and storms can wipe out their crops overnight, leaving them hungry and forced to leave their homes.”

The Scottish Government recently faced criticism over its own climate change targets, after ministers rejected calls to include a 100 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the Climate Change Bill.

Warning the climate change plan lacks credible proposals to help farmers in Scotland reduce their climate impact, Stop Climate Chaos described the Scottish Government plan as “short sighted” and “a missed opportunity”.

The plan, which sets out how ministers intend to reduce emissions by 66 per cent by 2032, aims to lower transport emissions by 37 per cent and emissions from Scotland’s buildings by 33 per cent by 2032.

It also contains targets for 70 per cent of all waste will be recycled by 2025 and for 50 per cent of all of Scotland’s energy needs to be delivered by renewables by 2030.

Announcing the funding, Cunningham said: “It is our moral responsibility to do what we can to help tackle the effects of climate change, as unpredictable weather is devastating the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

“This £3.2 million fund will work with communities in southern Malawi to come up with ways of adapting to severe storms, floods and droughts, ensuring people have access to basic essentials we take for granted, such as food and water.

“Scotland has almost halved its greenhouse gas emissions already and our new Climate Change Bill raises the bar for our ambition even further. The Bill sets a 90 per cent reduction target for all greenhouse gases by 2050, which will mean achieving 100 per cent reduction of carbon dioxide by the same date. In other words, Scotland will be carbon neutral by mid-century.

“We’ll put a date to achieve 100 per cent reduction of all greenhouse gases into law as soon as we can do so credibly and responsibly.”

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