Minister packs Scotland's 'Suitcase of Hope' ahead of Durban climate talks

As he prepares to pack his suitcase and join the UK delegation at the COP17 climate talks in Durban, Stewart Stevenson MSP, today received a few extra items to take with him to South Africa.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland presented the Minister for Environment and Climate Change with a ‘suitcase of hope’ including:

  • A copy of the Scottish Climate Change Act – which is still the strongest climate change legislation in the world.
  • A copy of the Durban Times to demonstrate the urgent need to agree a global deal on climate change, to follow on from the Kyoto Protocol.
  • A sack of drought resistant seeds and an IOU to demonstrate the need for poor countries to receive support in tackling the effects of climate change, for example increasing droughts and flooding.
  • A wind turbine to demonstrate Scotland’s commitment to supporting and developing renewable energy, including a target of 100% of Scotland’s electricity to come from renewables by 2020.

SCCS is calling on the UK delegation to push the EU and others to lead in the international climate negotiations in Durban, and as part of this is urging the Scottish Government to:

  • Show strong leadership to agree legally binding international cuts in carbon emissions at a level adequate to stop catastrophic climate change, particularly through a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Support developing countries to adapt to climate change and develop in a low carbon way through championing the Green Climate Fund, leading international discussions on sourcing vital public money, and ensuring that the funds reach those in most need.
  • Demonstrate the commitment already shown in Scotland to our world-leading Scottish Climate Change Act and the social, economic and environmental benefits of developing our green economy.

Ahead of the COP17, Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

“We are immensely proud of what Scotland has achieved to date on the climate change agenda in the private sector, local government and by individuals.

“I look forward to representing Scotland at the UN conference, and to truly demonstrate we are a small country with international reach. I want to press upon global leaders that the choices we make now will echo through generations and across country boundaries. Some developing countries are already seeing the devastating effect of climate change, in part caused by heavy industrialisation from the developed world, and we must act now.

“Our action – or inaction – is critical to how we shape a modern, successful and sustainable world free from the escalating effects of climate change. An important part of our recent international effort has been supporting developing countries understand the challenges of climate change, and lending the expertise to help them adapt accordingly. I want to see Scotland become a trailblazer of support to less equipped nations.”

Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said:

“The talks in Durban are yet another important opportunity for world leaders to finally agree a global deal on climate change. Time is running out as the only agreement we currently have – the Kyoto Protocol – is due to end next year. We urgently need a follow-on agreement if we are to keep emissions under control and avoid the catastrophic effects of runaway global warming.

“In addition, the poorest people in the world must be supported to adapt to the effects of climate change – many of which are already being felt, such as increasing flooding and instances of drought. It is industrialised countries like Scotland who are largely responsible for climate change happening and we must provide financial help to those that are suffering elsewhere because of our actions.

“Scotland has already taken a strong position with our Climate Change Act, which remains the strongest climate law in the world, including a target to reduce emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. We must continue to show the world that a country like ours can become a truly low carbon economy.”

Photo © Maverick Photo Agency/SCCS

Get SCCS updates