MSPs’ failure to unite on climate ‘devastating’ and ‘terrifying’ for future generations

All parties must work together for our climate.

The failure of MSPs across Scotland’s political parties to work together to tackle the climate crisis is a ‘devastating’ diagnosis for future generations and ‘terrifying’ for children and generations to come, say the Scottish Greens.

In an impassioned speech during a Members Debate on climate, Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater challenged fellow MSPs to seek consensus to deliver real climate action. 

Ms Slater said: “There are two things that the events of the last few weeks have made clear to me. One is that our planet is currently en route to a climate catastrophe and two that there is no majority in this parliament that supports action to prevent that. 

“This is a devastating diagnosis for our future and is especially terrifying for our children and generations to come.”

Citing recommendations from the Climate Change Commission, Ms Slater warned that Scotland needs to: 

  • Stop burning fossil fuels to heat homes: with a need to insulate our homes and heat them with clean electricity.  
  • Reduce the use of diesel and petrol cars, and get people onto bikes and buses.  
  • Reduce flying when there are alternatives available and make sure that taking the train is cheaper and more convenient.  
  • Change how land is used, to create long term resilience around nature and food production.  

Ms Slater added: “With Scottish Greens in Government, the Scottish Government proposed some, fairly modest measures, to take us in a better direction: starting to tax aviation, moving money from expanding roads to expanding rail, bus and active travel capacity, giving Councils powers to reduce car use, protecting 30% or our land for nature. 

“Historically, every single similar measure has been robustly opposed in this chamber.  

“Low emission zones, workplace parking levy, protection of 10% of our seas – these are very modest climate measures, and if even these simple things are opposed, how can we ever hope to make the big changes? 

“I wish it wasn’t just the Scottish Greens saying that we need to have courage to make real changes. 

“I wish, more than anything, that there was a solid consensus in this chamber for action on climate, but until that time the Scottish Greens will always be the voice for a fairer, greener and better future.”

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