We have just ten years to avoid climate catastrophe.

A Climate Bill is going through the Scottish Parliament now, but it’s not strong enough and it doesn’t respond to the latest science coming from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The Scottish Greens in Holyrood are calling for a Climate Emergency Bill that catalyses radical emission cuts across the economy, protecting our futures and making Scotland better for everyone. We urgently need to show the Scottish public back our proposal, so please show your support and take action now.

 

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A Climate Emergency Bill

The Scottish Greens will be leading the charge in Holyrood to transform this lacklustre Bill into a Climate Emergency Bill that delivers:

  1. A long-term target of net-zero greenhouse gas target by 2040

  2. An ambitious interim target of 77% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030

  3. A radical ten-point plan of actions, to be taken within one year of the Bill passing.

When President John F. Kennedy announced in 1961 that the USA would commit to getting a man on moon by the end of the decade, there was no plan for how this would be achieved. The tech didn’t even exist yet. But Kennedy created the political urgency that propelled a massive collaborative effort and ultimately success. Climate change is no different, and a Climate Emergency Bill needs the same vision, ambition and drive’.

We need to show that Scotland is behind us, so please show your support for a Climate Emergency Bill and take action now.

A decade to avoid climate breakdown

We’re already witnessing a dangerous change in the global climate. Here in Europe, the summer of 2018 saw prolonged heatwaves and wildfires break out across several countries, following rapidly on from one of the coldest winters in Europe for decades. Across the world, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, more intense and more damaging.

The IPCC published a Special Report in October 2018 investigating the different outcomes that can be expected if global temperature rise is limited to 1.5ᵒC compared to 2ᵒC. Their findings add up to one clear, over-riding message that confronts humanity with the most important decision it will ever make: act now and deliver massive emission reductions over the next decade of face climate breakdown.

Good for Scotland

A Climate Emergency Bill isn’t just the right thing to do for our planet. It’s the right thing to do for Scotland too. Scottish Greens’ research found that 200,000 green jobs could be created over the next decade if we pursue ambitious, rapid decarbonisation. The benefits don’t end there: air quality would improve, saving thousands of lives, homes would be warm as we eradicate fuel poverty, and rural Scotland would benefit from massive investment in tree planting, peat restoration and local, low-carbon food production.

A ten-point plan

The Scottish Government are arguing that we’re already doing our fair share, and doing any more is not feasible. Here’s ten Scottish Green policies that could be implemented now:

  1. Lead a green energy transition. Scotland is on track to generate 100% of our electricity needs from renewables in the next 5 years. This is great progress but we need to see similar gains made in generating the energy we use for heating our homes from renewables rather than fossil fuels.
  2. Divest all public investment from the fossil fuel industry, including public bodies’ pension funds.
  3. Increase funding for walking and cycling, putting Scotland on par with the Netherlands.
  4. Better buses and reliable rail that are publicly funded and cheap to use.
  5. Develop a district heating funding stream to deliver renewable heat to homes across Scotland.
  6. Deliver warm homes for all, ending the scourge of fuel poverty and ensuring all homes achieve at least an EPC Band C rating by 2030.
  7. Support climate-friendly farming and land management, including a massive increase in investment in sustainable forestry and peat restoration. Introduce a nitrogen budget for the farming sector to reduce harmful nitrous oxide emissions.
  8. Tax single-use plastics. For example, Scotland consumes between 200 and 800 million single-use cups each year. A 25p levy or tax would result in an annual revenue of £50-200mn and a significant reduction in consumption.
  9. Give Councils the power to introduce workplace parking levies.
  10. Redirect government business support towards environmentally responsible companies.

What are we up against?

Surely we all agree that everything should be done to protect our planet, and given the other benefits, why isn’t a Climate Emergency Bill a no-brainer? The main reason is that vested interests and a timid Scottish Government stand in our way.

The SNP Government pride themselves on being a “world leader” in tackling climate change. And yet, at the very same time they celebrate new oil and gas discoveries in the North Sea, where they are still committed to supporting maximum extraction. No mention is made of the fact that avoiding dangerous climate change means that the majority of fossil fuels must remain in the ground. What’s more, they want to use tax cuts to grow air travel and remain obsessed with building more roads instead of investing in transforming our woeful public transport. Other opposition parties are no different. Only the Greens are standing up for our common future, against the vested interests and dirty money of the fossil fuel industry.

More information

  1. Scottish Greens’ report on Jobs in Scotland’s new economy
  2. Scottish Greens’ report on Why Scotland needs a Climate Emergency Bill
  3. Green MSP Ross Greer - Small changes won’t stop climate catastrophe

 

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