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Charities tell leaders: make the climate emergency a priority in 2024


A diverse group of organisations presented Scottish party leaders with a giant card containing their climate new year’s resolutions

A civil society coalition is demanding Scotland’s politicians take urgent action on the climate emergency this year.

A diverse group of organisations presented Scottish party leaders with a giant card containing their climate new year’s resolutions, and urged them to heed the calls of hundreds of Scots who have sent personal messages asking them to commit to the fast and fair action needed to address the climate and nature crises in 2024.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) activists met with part leaders outside the Scottish Parliament to press home their demands.

SCCS is a cross-civil society campaign, which includes the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Mike Robinson from SCCS said: “Since Scotland’s then world-leading climate targets were passed with cross party support in 2019, we’ve seen increasingly severe climate impacts in Scotland and around the world, but a lack of robust and urgent action.

“We need to reduce emissions, protect nature, and fund climate action and a just transition – and in order to do that we need to make the biggest polluters pay for their damage.

“Following a series of missed annual climate targets, and growing concern that the critical 2030 target will be missed, every party leader needs to adopt strong climate action as a new year’s resolution, and it’s vital that they work together and do everything they can to support and drive bold climate action this year.

“2024 brings huge opportunities for action on the climate emergency, including the Scottish Government publishing a new Climate Change Plan, which must deliver action to meet or exceed our legal climate targets. The messages we’ve gathered from the public show political leaders that people in Scotland care deeply about the climate crisis and want to see fast and fair action. Now we need their leadership.”

Spokespeople from the coalition’s members, including Christian Aid Scotland, Oxfam Scotland and Parents For Future Scotland, highlighted their key asks for party leaders to commit to acting on in 2024. 

Claire Larkin from Parents For Future Scotland said: “As the new year starts with yet more extreme weather in Scotland and around the world, we are urging party leaders to commit to acting now, no more delay to protect lives and livelihoods of current and future generations. The government must turn rhetoric into action by urgently delivering a bold, ambitious climate plan that meets or exceeds Scotland’s legal climate targets, and we need cross party support for ambitious new policies.”

Emma Gardner from Christian Aid Scotland said: “Decision makers have a moral imperative to act to protect everyone from the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We urgently need strong global leadership on climate and as we begin 2024 all party leaders should be making a resolution to champion world-leading Scottish climate action and climate justice.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Livingstone from Oxfam Scotland added: “Around the world, millions of people face losing their lives, homes and livelihoods to a crisis they did least to cause while the richest plunder the planet and pollute for profit.  

“A better future isn’t a world away, but to accelerate climate action in Scotland, the party leaders must now work together and build the fairer, greener country the people of Scotland want by ensuring the biggest polluters pay the bill for the damage they’re causing.” 



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David Hansen
2 months ago

Inside the Holyrood bubble many politicians talk a fairly good game on the climate emergency. However, as the Suffragettes wisely said, it is deeds that matter, not words.

In the real world, the one outside the Holyrood bubble, things look different. The largest source of greenhouse gases is transport and by far the largest sector of transport emissions is road transport. Politicians who were putting their words into deeds would not be encouraging more road traffic, but they speak with forked-tongue. A whole series of projects to encourage more road traffic are being progressed as rapidly as possible. The A9 is the most well known one but there are a whole slew of of these schemes around our country, including a flyover at Sheriffhall which will get motorists to the back of the next traffic jam a minute or two earlier.

At the same time investment in the railways was cut back again this week. We should be electrifying at least 120 single-track kilometres of railway in a rolling programme, if we are to meet climate targets, but the Scottish Government have just made that harder to reach by slowing down/stopping work.

The Scottish Government did much the same to buses a few weeks ago. See which puts it better than I can.

When are the inmates of the Holyrood bubble going to give us deeds not words?