RSPB Scotland’s Allie McGregor talks about how we can keep momentum for change as we face the climate and nature crises in 2020.

Facing the climate emergency in 2020

2019 saw a shift in the way the nature and climate emergencies were being talked about on a global scale. 2020 is being welcomed as a vital year for climate action with major opportunities for world leaders to enact change. Here are some of the ways we can keep the changing climate and threats to nature at the top of the agenda this year.


Worldwide individuals are making changes such as reducing plastic use, taking public transport and switching up their diets. These actions are valuable and help us to feel that some of the power is in our hands, but a great deal of the power we hold is in making our voices heard by world leaders and corporations. 

Millions of us wrote, marched, called and created to make 2019 such a successful year for raising the profile and highlighting the urgency of the emergency we face. Our voices and actions made the Government and the media take notice.

Whether it be through talking to MSPs, telling stories on social media or attending a march, campaigning will continue to be an essential tool. There are plenty of key events this year to build momentum around. The UN Climate Conference (COP26) will take place right here in Scotland, in Glasgow, but there will be discussions amongst leaders across the globe throughout the year where it’s essential that progress be made.

RSPB staff at climate strike

Looking towards the solutions

Highlighting solutions for combatting climate change and protecting our nature will be incredibly important. We need world leaders to platform, support and invest in the policies and tools which will work towards reducing carbon emissions and improving the outlook for our wildlife and ourselves.

Having solutions-focused conversations about climate helps us remain motivated and empowered in the face of what can otherwise feel like a helpless situation. Our campaigning work should be driving decision makers to the solutions. 

At RSPB Scotland we have been championing development of nature-based solutions to climate change for years on our own reserves. The twin climate and ecological crises are intrinsically linked and we need to tackle them through joined-up nature-based solutions.

forsinard flows reserve

Working together

It’s well documented that many of us are facing stress and anxiety as a result of the possible consequences of climate change. It’s essential that we come together and work as a community to maintain the momentum and to support each other.

Activist Mikaela Loach recently shared some words she had come across, which I think puts it beautifully:

‘We should think of activism and campaigns like a choir trying to collectively hold a long note - everyone needs to stop and take a breath at different times to ensure the note goes on for as long as possible and doesn’t falter. If we all tried to hold onto that note alone, we would just burn out. Take a breath. Go spend a long time with the people you love a lot. Hold them in the midst of the storm and marvel at the wonders around you.’

Our natural world is incredible. We should celebrate it alongside working to protect it.


Follow RSPB Scotland on Twitter and Facebook if you would like to keep up with some of the different ways we are engaging with the nature and climate emergencies in 2020.