We need action not words at COP28, warn Scottish Greens

We can't let climate chaos become the new normal.

The Scottish Greens are calling on world leaders to “stop talking and start doing” to tackle the climate crisis after experts warned temperature records were obliterated in 2023, sparking alarming weather events across the globe. 

“We need action not words from our leaders,” said Mark Ruskell MSP, the Scottish Greens climate spokesperson, “We must stop talking and start doing.

“We know what the targets are, and we’re missing them. We understand the science, but we aren’t acting quickly enough. Nations have pledged the finance, but it simply isn’t being rolled out with anything like the kind of urgency we need.

“How many floods, how many wildfires, how many heatwaves, how many deaths is it going to take for those at the top table to say enough is enough? 

“Last year alone more than 61,000 people in Europe died from the heatwave in what was the hottest summer on record. Women and elderly people were the worst affected, accounting for the majority of those. 

“The World Health Organisation now predicts that between 2030 and 2050 the world will see approximately 250,000 additional deaths attributed to climate change.

“Scotland now holds the record for the largest wildfire in the UK. In recent weeks our towns and villages were cut off or inundated by floods, transport networks were hammered and energy supplies fell over. We haven’t even hit peak winter yet.

“This cannot be allowed to become the new normal. We must not let that happen and we must redouble our efforts to mitigate for and prevent the worse we fear is to come. 

“I’m proud that with Scottish Greens in Government in Scotland we are delivering record investment in nature and biodiversity projects and active travel, and are working on truly transformative plans for how we heat our buildings and transform our energy sources.

“But we need to be honest and see that's still not enough. Everything needs to be on the table from taxing aviation to daily transport habits, doing more to help polluters such as Mossmorran to transition and to get serious about phasing out oil and gas. 

“That’s why we need the likes of the Climate Change Committee and other experts to not just critique plans, but help inform them, and for politicians from all parties to unite with a common purpose to deliver. 

“Every year people say COP is the ‘last chance’ to take action. Surely the UN Environmental Programme report showing we are on course for 3C temperature rises instead of our targeted 1.5C cannot spell that out more clearly.”