Climate Change Bill text shows environment at the heart of all our futures … but is Scottish Government ready to act on Paris Agreement?

 

THIS word cloud is made up from the entire text of the Climate Change Consultation Document issued by the Scottish Government.

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That consultation closes today.

Campaigners and individuals have tried to influence the current government to do more, to be greater in its ambition, to think and act more boldly that the draft.

The SNP administration has already set out its intent to move away from oil and gas by its direction outline in its Programme for Government with some headline winning eco initiatives.

The question now is will it go further?

At Holyrood yesterday, the Scottish Green Party pleaded with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon not to slow down efforts to tackle global warming.

The current government proposals targets zero emissions by 2050.

Campaigners argue that needs pulled forward to 2040 at least.

Green co-convener, Patrick Harvie, also a Glasgow MSP and said: “The new Climate Change Bill is crucial if Scotland is to seize the opportunities of new jobs in the low carbon economy, but as things stand the Scottish Government is set to slow down our ambition.

“That’s why my party is campaigning for a target of net-zero emission by 2040, to keep us on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

He said their own consultation response urges the Scottish Government to consider the party’s Jobs in Scotland’s New Economy report which shows how to create 200,000 new jobs in low-carbon sectors by 2035.

“The First Minister says she is ‘consulting and listening’ on this, that’s to be expected, but there are no advantages to slowing down on climate action,” he added.

“Other countries have already set net-zero targets before the year 2050, including Norway and Sweden.

“Scotland has a chance to continue showing leadership and adopt a net-zero target and I’m glad the First Minister has at least committed to ‘proper consideration’ of consultation responses.

“Scotland’s future prosperity depends on conserving existing oil stocks rather than exploring for more and building thousands of new jobs in a clean economy.

“The Climate Bill should explore how to set a target which keeps fossil fuels in the ground.”

This morning coalition Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, through Christian Aid Scotland, said Scotland had a responsibility to play a leading role fighting climate change for the good of poorer nations.

It said: “From hurricanes Irma and Maria, to the deadly floods in South Asia, to the ongoing famine in east Africa, we’ve all seen the grim evidence that climate change is causing more extreme weather events and unpredictable seasons. And it’s hitting the world’s poorest people hardest.

“Climate change is an issue of justice, with people in developing countries often most affected by climate change having done the least to cause it.

“Our agencies are supporting some of the world’s poorest women, men and children who find themselves on the frontline of climate change.

“Yet we know the impact is likely to get significantly worse unless rich countries like Scotland do much more to cut their emissions.

“Scotland can be proud of the efforts made to reduce our emissions so far but the truth is we’ve not done enough.”

“Scotland’s new Climate Change Bill is a chance to begin changing the future so it’s fairer for everyone.

“By putting in place a strong bill, the Scottish government can also send a powerful message to world leaders that Scotland rejects any back-sliding on global climate commitments.

“We must show the leadership needed to re-energise and re-focus global efforts to tackle climate change.”

Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said earlier: “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. ”

 

Want to learn more? Read: CLIMATE CHANGE BILL Consultation Paper

Image Credits: Word Cloud, @shaunmilne 

 

 

 

 

Shaun Milne is a Scottish based journalist with a particular interest in environmental issues, politics and travel.

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