Scotland needs to get its climate act together
The mass lobby of parliament and twitter storm later this month should remind politicians of their duty to meet Scotland's climate change targets.
In 2009 thousands of people across Scotland campaigned successfully for legally binding targets to reduce Scotland’s climate change emissions. WDM supporters were part of that huge effort, putting pressure on their politicians to pass the Climate Change (Scotland) Act which contains targets that reflect what the science tells is needed to reduce the chances of irreversible climate change, rather than just what might be considered politically possible. This was a landmark campaign victory.
Three years on, and it’s time to step up the pressure again. The most recent emissions data for Scotland showed that not only had the targets for emissions reductions for that year been missed, but that greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland had actually increased by 2%. The Scottish government’s action plans to meet the climate change targets have fallen short of what’s needed to meet them and the recent budgets have poured money into road building, while cutting funding for sustainable travel.
A recent analysis by the Guardian showed that the Scottish government’s plans to tap into between 12 and 24 billion barrels of North Sea oil and gas over the next 40 years would mean the release of 5.2 - 10.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
There are clearly a number of serious contradictions going on here. The short film below is a humorous illustration of how Alex Salmond's rhetoric on climate justice hasn't matched up to his government's action:
But MSPs tell us that they’re just not hearing the same level of concern about climate change from their constituents as they used to. We’re absolutely sure that it’s not because people don’t care any more. So we think it’s time for some organised pressure on our politicians. On the 25th October from 12.45 -2.15pm there’ll be a mass lobby of the Scottish Parliament to show politicians that people still care about climate change. Please come if you can. Click here to register.
If you’re not able to come, please consider writing to your MSPs or emailing them around that time.
Or join the twitter storm that’ll be raging from 12.45-2.15pm on the 25th. Tweet your concerns about Scotland missing its climate change targets using #gyat (get your act together). We’ll be projecting the #gyat twitter feed onto the wall in the parliament during the mass lobby so that MSPs can see it. You could also tweet your MSP direct (you may be able to find their twitter address here) but don’t forget to use #gyat too. And if you can squeeze in a mention of where in Scotland you’re tweeting from that will help show that people across the nation still care about climate change.
Liz Murray is head of campaigns and networks at WDM’s Scottish office.