Jim Densham, Senior Policy Officer RSPB Scotland
‘Harvey is what climate change looks like’ - shouted media headlines recently, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/28/climate-change-hurricane-harvey-215547 highlighting that the impacts of climate change are happening here and now, not a future threat. ‘Kittiwake chick starvation is what climate change looks like’ or ‘capercaillie dying out is what climate change looks like’ could have been headlines too because the evidence shows these species are being affected now in our own country. Read more in our RSPB report – The nature of climate change http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/natureofclimatechange_tcm9-409709.pdf
The need for political commitment to act on climate change and help our precious wildlife has never been greater. Opportunities to get Governments to boost climate targets don’t come round very often – remember the long wait for the Paris Agreement and the joy afterwards that, at last, the world community was stepping up the action? So that’s why we are jumping on the rare opportunity of a new Climate Change Bill for Scotland, to push for ambitious new targets and action. With our partners in the Stop Climate Chaos coalition we have worked hard through the summer and have thousands of people already supporting the ‘Act for Our Future’ campaign. There are just a few days left to add your support at https://act.foe.scot/sccs-climate
We need your help because the Scottish Government’s proposals for the Bill are too weak. Sure, they want to increase the emission reduction target but not by enough, and they are not proposing any new policies to help us meet those targets. We need to see Scotland aiming for a zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest – it’s what the planet and our wildlife needs. We also want to see more action in the Bill when it goes through Parliament, such as to cut emissions through insulating all homes, and to cut emissions by making farming greener. We have already had one huge win from this campaign - Government announced just this month that they plan to phase out diesel and petrol vehicles by 2032.
You may not live in Scotland but you can still help this campaign and your voice counts. Scotland has been leading the way in the UK with targets and action, and with exerting pressure at Westminster to do more to halt climate change. The deadline for responses to the Scottish Government is Friday 22nd Sept so please sign the letter to the First Minister here https://act.foe.scot/sccs-climate before then.
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