Everything must be on the table if political leaders are to achieve net zero

Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie attended a climate summit of Scottish political leaders hosted by First Minister Humza Yousaf

Scotland’s politicians must be ready to take hard decisions together if they are to protect communities from the ravages of climate breakdown, the Scottish Greens warned tonight.

Political leaders from all of Scotland’s main parties attended a climate summit with the First Minister Humza Yousaf this afternoon where outgoing chair of the UK Climate Change Committee, Chris Stark, laid bare the facts of the crisis.

Scottish Greens co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie were among those attending the summit. Ms Slater said: “Nobody in the room, none of Scotland’s political leaders, can now be in any doubt about the weight of responsibility on our collective shoulders.

“This is beyond partisan party politics. This is a fight for our lives, for our communities and our futures, and no single government can do this alone. We need a united front against what is a clear and present danger to us all, no matter the colour of our vote.

“Every extra car mile, every time a new oil field is created, every moment a private jet takes to the air, every time a new gas boiler is installed or a peatland is left unrestored increases the scale of the challenge. 

“How we pay for it, who pays for it, where that burden lies need to be agreed. 

“Nobody is arguing that climate change isn’t real. We all agree action is needed, but how and what that looks like has become political theatre. We have to move beyond that and accept that everything has to be on the table. 

“Armed with the knowledge gleaned together, with commitments to try and find a way through, it is up to every political leader including those of us in government to think the unthinkable.

“We need to play the movie all the way to the end to understand what the world looks like if we fail to take this chance, to grasp this opportunity together and agree on a commitment, a mechanism and a plan to drive forward change.

“To marshal all our party supporters, stakeholders and ourselves behind this one national emergency and push forward in the spirit of cooperation, learning lessons from around the world in order to find a way forward.

“The Scottish Greens agreed to enter the Scottish Government to deliver climate action. It was a risk for us politically, but was vital to driving forward the scale of change that is so crucial.

"We need that same leap of faith and commitment from all political leaders.”

The summit was first proposed by Scottish Greens climate spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP last year. 

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