Caroline Rance, from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, wants to see Scotland lead the way on tackling climate change
The unprecedented and devastating floods this month in Houston and Mumbai, the summer heat wave spreading wildfires across the Mediterranean, Ben Nevis without snow for the first time in over a decade - climate change is already affecting people and nature both here in Scotland and around the world. But this year in Scotland, we have the chance to make a difference.
The Scottish Government is writing a new Climate Change Bill and they’re currently asking the public for their views on the proposals. However the plans put forward fall far short of the urgent ambition and action needed to tackle the very worst impacts of climate change.
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, a diverse coalition of 50 organisations, is campaigning for the government to act for our future by being more ambitious in their plans in tackling climate change and making the move away from fossil fuels towards a cleaner, greener Scotland.
Scotland has already made good progress in cutting our greenhouse gas emissions. When the Scottish Parliament passed our first Climate Change Act in 2009 it was the most ambitious climate law in the world and we’ve made great advances in renewable energy, but now it’s time to go further.
The UN Paris Agreement on climate change, which came into force last year, means that all nations should cut their climate changing emissions further and faster, and Scotland is no exception. While the First Minister has stated her commitment to delivering the goals of the agreement, the current proposals won’t deliver on that promise.
"Tackling climate change isn’t just about targets..."
To play our full part, the Stop Climate Chaos coalition is calling for the Government to set new targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 77% by 2030 and to reach zero by 2050 at the latest, with some members calling for an earlier end to emissions in 2040.
Tackling climate change isn’t just about targets. It is also an opportunity to think about the kind of Scotland we want to live in, and the legacy we leave for future generations. If Scotland is to enjoy the benefits of a zero carbon future, the Scottish Government must set out ambitious policies so that the areas responsible for the greatest share of our emissions, such as housing, transport and agriculture, play their part in delivering a healthier and more prosperous future for us all.
Effective action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, from making our homes energy efficient, and moving away from fossil fuel vehicles to cleaner transport, can also tackle fuel poverty, create jobs, reduce inequality and build a fairer society. We’re also calling for support for farmers to go greener, and for a clear plan on how we transition away from fossil fuel industries in a way that is fair to the workers and communities involved.
With a stronger and more ambitious Climate Change Bill we can play our part in the global challenge, show climate leadership and create a fairer and more equal society in Scotland, ensuring a better future for all of us.