Over 8,000 people have written the Scottish Government urging them to rethink their climate plans. Individuals have responded to a public consultation by urging the Government to show more ambition when setting their long-range emissions reduction targets. A coalition of environmental, development and faith groups are urging the public to give their verdict on the proposed Climate Bill before the consultation closes in just under one month’s time.
Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, commented:
“In 2009 Scotland was setting the pace internationally when we agreed our climate targets but now people are urging the Scottish Government to keep the country on the leader board on this issue. The urgency of the climate crisis has grown in the intervening years and Scots want to see more done to ensure we continue to deliver leading action.”
The Scottish Government are revising their plans following the historic Paris Climate deal agreed in December 2015. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ‘State of the Climate in 2016’ report recently revealed that 2016 was globally the hottest year on record, surpassing 2015 and 2014 for record temperatures.
Tom Ballantine continued:
“The most up to date climate science clearly demonstrates that we need to rapidly cut emissions if we are to avoid catastrophic temperature increases and irreversible change. The question is not will we act, it is will we act fast enough? The Scottish Government has proposed a target of 90% reduction by 2050 but this simply doesn’t go far enough. It is only a minor improvement on what we were already aiming for a decade ago.”
“As well as ambitious emissions targets, people want to see the concrete policies that help us meet these goals. Our climate plans should deliver real action to make every home a warm home, stop the sale of fossil-fuelled vehicles by the end of the next decade and provide help for farmers to go greener. The additional benefits of acting now are many: a reduction in deadly air pollution, less fuel poverty, reducing local environmental pollution from agriculture along with the economic advantage gained by leading rather than following. “
People who have taken action and urged the Scottish Government to go further also commented:
Richard Fairbairn, 42, a Team Leader from Aberdeen said “I want to live in a country with ambition and there is nothing ambitious about our government’s climate change plans. We should set high standards and where we are failing, we deserve a plan than delivers real improvement, fast. Scotland deserves better."
Isla Aitken, 43, a writer in Edinburgh commented,
"With Westminster stalling on constructive action to combat climate change, it's up to the Scottish Government to lead the way. We need action, not words."
Bob Paul, a 53 year old software developer from the Isle of Skye reminded us of the responsibility we have to future generations saying "Our grandchildren will judge us on how we reacted to climate change."
Research from WWF Scotland recently revealed that 68% of Scots want to see the Government invest in projects that cut emissions, with 76% respondents wanting to see more done to improve the energy efficiency of our homes.
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland wrote to the First Minister last week to urge her to make climate a priority and increase her Government’s ambition.