Scotland is leading way by being first country to set legally binding annual emission reduction targets, writes Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland. Earlier this month, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham reaffirmed in the Scottish Parliament the First Minister’s declaration that we are facing a “climate emergency”. It’s a phrase that’s suddenly in vogue among political leaders from Edinburgh to Cardiff, London, Dublin and beyond. It’s not hard to see why. Politicians are feeling the climate heat after schoolchildren went on strike and campaigners brought prominent locations, including in Edinburgh, to a standstill. A recent poll by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland shows 70 per cent of people in Scotland support further action on climate change. It follows dire warnings by climate scientists that we have until 2030 to avert a climate catastrophe. Political language is, it seems, catching up with reality. And not before time. When I hear the words “climate emergency”, I picture Jenipher, a young woman from the Mulanje district of southern Malawi. When I met her in 2016, Malawi was suffering from the worst drought the country had experienced in over 30 years, one made worse by climate change. Jenipher’s crops had withered; her family was starving; her life depended on the rain coming next season.
Scotsman 29th May 2019 read more »