100 international voices call for Scotland to lead on climate change

People from around the world are urging Scotland to remain a global climate leader as the Government finalises their new Climate Change Bill. 100 individuals, including many directly impacted by climate change and those working to help tackle climate change, have taken photos with signs urging Scotland to “Give it 100%” in our efforts to cut emissions. Contributions include impassioned pleas from farmers in Africa, vulnerable communities in Asia, indigenous Arctic groups and Pacific Islanders.
The images and testimonies have been collected by the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition and will be used in a #100voices social media campaign in the coming weeks. The group received submissions from every inhabited continent backing their calls for Scotland to end climate pollution by 2050 at the latest.
The stories highlight how climate change is already impacting on livelihoods and the need for countries in leadership positions such as Scotland to show the required ambition to meet the Paris Climate Agreement.
Many of those taking part give specific support for the call for a net zero emissions target by 2050 at the latest. The First Minister has previously hinted that she may consider a zero emissions target when the bill is unveiled before the Summer recess.
Stella Miria-Robinson, Papua New Guinean Australian, Roving Ambassador for the Pacific Islands Council of Queensland said:
“We stand to lose our homes, lose our countries, lose our identities as distinct Peoples of the Planet, lose our cultures, languages and familiar places. We do not want to be passport holders of countries that have disappeared. What happens in Europe, the US, China and Australia, for example, affects what happens climatically, in our Pacific Ocean. I hope Scotland, The Brave, will help to lead the way, through its commitment to a net zero carbon strategy and soon.”
Mork Nay & Veit Samin, farmers in Cambodia told us:
“In the past the weather was stable between the dry and rainy seasons.  Now we can’t predict it. Now it’s raining in the dry season and dry in the rainy season. When we lose our crops our income decreases and we lose our resources. In the past we know when the rain would come – and it would rain for a few days. Now it comes and is very strong."
"I’m really concerned that climate change is getting worse and I don’t know what to do to cope with it.  I’m not sure about the future. Now I don’t see a choice for our children but to farm, but I am concerned. I would like Scotland to continue helping us to cope with climate change. I would like to request developed countries like Scotland, who have big factories that produce a lot of pollution to stop polluting.  Frankly, it’s not just developed countries but we all need to stop pollution because many people in the world are responsible.”
Gertrude Hamooya, 38, is a small scale farmer in Zambia. She cultivates mainly maize and groundnuts but also keeps free range chickens. When asked why she thought Scotland should ‘give it 100%’, Gertrude said:
“Our lives have become harder as farmers due to climate change. The dry spell we experienced at the beginning of this season meant that our crops could not make it even when the rains finally came, because they the rains did come, they were too heavy such that even a few plants that could have made it were destroyed by the floods. Most of us won’t even harvest anything this year because of the rains coming at the wrong time of the year
The heavy rains have also destroyed the few roads we have in the area making it extremely difficult for us to transport anything or even to go the hospitals.”
"I think richer countries should also help sensitise us on the disadvantages of charcoal burning and also help train us in other businesses as a way of survival. They should also help us financially because they’re also contributing to climate change because of their industries.”
Sarah James, from the Alaskan Arctic, commented,
“My name is Sarah James from Arctic Village in Alaska 110 miles north east of Arctic Circle. We’re a caribou people, for over 20,000 years we have lived with Caribou. We take care of their feeding ground - caribou heart is in our heart and our heart is in the caribou. My people's way of life is under threat. Climate change is a human rights issue.
I'd like to see Scotland take a lead on the environment because the indigenous people of the world we live in the land, we take care of the land and it takes care of us in return. We need to help each other to survive. It's up to all of us to play our part to tackle climate change. It's not a chore, it's a responsibility.”
Chris Hegarty of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland commented,
"In 2009 the Scottish Parliament gave unanimous support to some of the most ambitious climate legislation anywhere in the world. Since then, Scotland’s ambition has been a powerful international example of a rich country taking serious steps towards a climate-friendly future. As recently as November, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke at the UN Climate Summit in the company of the UN Secretary General, promising that Scotland would continue to lead by example. We warmly welcome that commitment.
The need for such international leadership has never been greater. These personal images and stories bring home the reality of how we have already changed our climate and the destructive impact this is having in every part of the world. We see subsistence farmers struggling with weather that is no longer predictable for growing crops, extreme weather events causing devastation and the very real possibility of cultures being lost.”
Setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest is essential if Scotland is to play its fair part in delivering on the international agreement on climate change reached in Paris in 2015.
The upcoming Climate Bill should also provide the ambitious new policies that will ramp up action ahead of 2030 and deliver multiple benefits closer to home for the economy, public health and our environment.”
#100Voices on Twitter
Go to our Act for our Future campaign Hub

Get SCCS updates