Scotland pays back Mawali for past pollution

Can the climate debt ever be paid off? Scotland is one of several countries who have
agreed to pay for “loss and damage” caused by climate change.

First came the floods. Then came the crocodiles. The floodwater brought the deadly predators right into the village.

Mambundungu in Malawi has been battered by natural disasters recently.

But the flooding is not so natural after all. Climate change has caused all kinds of extreme weather around the world.

Malawi is one of the countries that has been hardest hit.

That is why the Scottish government has agreed to pay into a “loss and damage” fund to help out in villages like Mambundungu.

It is one of the first developed countries to agree that the rich world owes a debt to countries worst affected by the changing climate.

The amount of carbon released by richer countries over the last century dwarfs the emissions of a country like Malawi. So, many have been advocating
for the developed world to pay for the damage.

Scotland signed up earlier than most, during the COP26 talks. A wider agreement was reached at COP27 in 2022.

Scotland, the birthplace of the modern steam engine, has so far agreed to pay £7m into the scheme.

The UK is the fifth largest polluter in history, responsible for 5% of emissions since 1750. The total amount pledged so far stands at £202m. A UN report estimates that the total cost of adapting to climate change could reach about £280bn a year by 2030.