As we approach Earth Day this Sunday - April 22nd an article in 'The National' reports on how communities from around the world are calling on Scotland to toughen its target to cut climate pollution in order to safeguard food supplies, protect homes and save lives. Representatives from Africa, Asia, Alaska and elsewhere say that Scottish ministers should aim to cut emissions to “net zero” by 2050 to help prevent droughts, storms and floods.
The current target is to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
If Scotland doesn’t up its ambitions, campaigners warn ministers can no longer claim to be leading the world. Six other countries have recently committed to zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, including France, Sweden and New Zealand.
Views from developing countries have been collected by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), an umbrella group that brings together 40 environmental, faith and other groups. They include Friends of the Earth Scotland, WWF Scotland, RSPB Scotland, Christian Aid, Oxfam and The Church of Scotland.
The group has launched a “100 Voices” campaign aimed at persuading Scotland to “give it 100 per cent” on cutting climate pollution. They want ministers to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in their forthcoming climate change bill.
SCCS pointed out that the need for international leadership has never been greater. “Personal images and stories bring home the reality of how we have already changed our climate and the destructive impact this is having in every part of the world,” said the group’s Chris Hegarty.
“We see subsistence farmers struggling with weather that is no longer predictable for growing crops, extreme weather events causing devastation and the very real possibility of cultures being lost.”
Hegarty highlighted a promise in November by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, that Scotland would continue to lead by example. “Setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest is essential if Scotland is to play its fair part in delivering on the international agreement on climate change reached in Paris in 2015,” he argued.
“The upcoming climate bill should also provide the ambitious new policies that will ramp up action ahead of 2030 and deliver multiple benefits closer to home for the economy, public health and our environment.”
Stella-Marie Robinson, roving ambassador for the Pacific Islands Council of Queensland, warned that some countries could disappear. “We stand to lose our homes, lose our countries, lose our identities as distinct peoples of the planet,” she said. “What happens in Europe, the US, China and Australia affects what happens climatically in our Pacific Ocean. I hope Scotland, the brave, will help to lead the way through its commitment to a net zero carbon strategy – and soon.” Read on here http://www.thenational.scot/news/16137786.World_s_communities_call_on_Scotland_to_toughen_climate_target/