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Scotland must play its part in averting climate disaster, campaigners warn

This news post is 9 months old
 

A new report from the UN has provided the most bleak assessment yet of the consequences of climate change.

Scottish charities have called for focus on the climate emergency after a report published on Monday by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued the starkest warning yet for the future of the planet. 

In its latest report the IPCC warned that accelerated action is required to adapt to the climate crisis, as well as rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Scientists warned human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and is affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risk - with people and ecosystems least able to cope and the hardest hit. 

Campaigners across Scotland spoke out following the announcement, with Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES) describing it as a stark reminder of the reality of the climate emergency. 

FoES’ head of campaigns, Mary Church, said: "The latest IPCC report makes for deeply alarming reading in confirming that the impacts of climate breakdown are more widespread, happening much sooner and having more devastating consequences than previously predicted. Tragically, this will come as no surprise to the millions of people fighting for their lives and livelihoods who are on the sharpest end of the all too frequent devastation wrought by the floods, fires, droughts and extreme weather events worldwide.

"The gross injustice of the situation is that the climate crisis is hitting the poorest and most vulnerable people the hardest even though they didn’t create it.

"With current global commitments to climate action putting us on a pathway to a hellish 2.7oC warming, the report highlights the terrible risks of even temporarily overshooting the critical 1.5oC threshold of warming. It warns of the threat of triggering tipping points, turning many of nature's carbon sinks into carbon sources, and rendering damage to ecosystems we rely on for life itself beyond repair.

"Following all the backslapping at COP26 this report is a stark reminder of the reality of the climate crisis and must serve as a wake up call to governments relying on vague 2050 net zero goals, pathways that overshoot 1.5oC and fantasy techno-fixes. With barely a decade left before we reach this critical threshold we urgently need to focus on the solutions we know are necessary including a rapid and just phase out of fossil fuels.

"Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Glasgow and worldwide last November demanding a response to the climate crisis that puts justice at the heart of domestic and international efforts, transforming our economic, energy, and food systems and putting people and nature over profit."

Other groups in Scotland called on work to be done at home to ensure we do our part to averting disastrous climate change. 

Dr Geraldine Hill, advocacy manager at Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, said: “Countries like Scotland must urgently get on track to reducing our own emissions as quickly as possible in line with the 1.5C global temperature goal, as well as providing urgent funding to help people on the frontlines of this crisis. 

“The Scottish Government led the world at COP26 on providing funding for climate losses and damages experienced in the poorest nations – the world needs to step up and do the same. 

“However, whilst this money is very welcome, Scotland has missed its own targets it set for itself over the last three years. 

“We can’t talk a good game on the international stage and fail to deliver at home. We must give and we must act.”

 

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