STOP Climate Chaos Scotland say 17,000 people have so far joined calls for the Scottish Government to “raise their ambition” over eco targets – with just two days to go until consultation over Holyrood’s new Climate Change Bill closes.
The group, made up of a coalition of concerned organisations including WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Oxfam and others, presented the petition to Government earlier today.
Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change Roseanna Cunningham accepted 1500 postcards from people who have responded to the consultation, meeting a delegation of children from Sciennes Primary in Edinburgh.
Pupils from the Eco-school had previously met with the Cabinet Secretary in June 2017 to discuss air pollution.
Another 15,500 people have so far responded to the consultation online.
They want the Scottish Government to aim for zero climate emissions by 2050 at the latest.
Currently ministers are proposing a 90% cut in emissions.
They also face criticism over suggestions they are not planning to include any major new policies within this Climate Change Bill.
Tom Ballantine, who is Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “Climate change is the greatest problem of our time. People want Scotland to be at the forefront of the global effort to overcome that challenge.
“The ferocious Atlantic hurricanes, deadly floods in South Asia and the ongoing drought in East Africa show that we have no time to waste.
“17,000 people have backed the First Minister’s call that Scotland should live up to the commitments in the Paris Climate Agreement. At the same time a strong new Climate Act will create jobs, improve health, and reduce poverty.
“The Scottish Government’s announcement that it will phase out fossil fuelled cars shows it is listening to our campaign and the many people who want Scotland to lead on climate action.
“We now need to build on that ambition with a target of net-zero climate emissions by 2050 at the latest.
“That ambitious goal would provide certainty, respect what climate science tells us we need to do and help guide decisions and choices for the coming decades.
“The children who met the Cabinet Secretary today will be turning 40 when Scotland should reach its proposed zero emission target in 2050.
“The choices made now will shape the type of country they grow up and grow old in.
“We hope all Scotland’s political leaders hear our campaign and deliver a Climate Bill that commits to zero emissions and action for warmer homes, healthier transport options and a thriving, efficient agricultural sector.”
Among the measures the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition are calling for in the proposed new Climate Bill are to:
Set a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest, and a reduction of 77% by 2030
Ensure that future finance budgets are consistent with our climate targets
Commit to actions that cut emissions and deliver a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous Scotland
Make all homes efficient and warm: Ensure that all homes have at least Energy Performance Rating ‘C’ by 2025
Cleaner transport: phase out the sale of new fossil fuel cars by 2030 to reduce emissions, clean up air pollution and improve the nation’s health
Greener farming: Set a nitrogen budget for Scotland by 2020.
Gordon Maloney, 38 degrees Campaigner (Scotland) who have hosted their own petition attracting thousands of backers in support but who are not part of SCCS, said “bold” action was needed.
He said: “People across the country want the Scottish Government to take bold action on climate change.
“Scotland has shown strong leadership on climate change in the past, and it is clear today that thousands of people will be expecting that to continue, and watching closely to make sure it does.
“It is our own futures at stake, and we know that there can be no excuse for inaction or for doing the bare minimum.”
The public consultation and petition– which is still accepting names – closes this Friday.
Want to learn more? Read: Scottish Government – Climate Change Bill
Image Credits: Stop Climate Chaos