John Hardy – Extinction Rebellion: THE year 2045 condemns us to a bleak future. We may as well not have a target at all. Others are already dying around the world thanks to inaction and far-off target setting. Days after “declaring” a climate emergency, Nicola Sturgeon has accepted the advice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) – which she was always going to do. Following the CCC’s advice is not going far enough. This report was written in a world before the International Rebellion, before the school strikes. Before David Attenborough’s sobering documentary Our Planet. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of activists in Extinction Rebellion the climate youth strikers and every organisation that has been sounding the alarm on climate breakdown for years, the climate and ecological emergency is finally beginning to get the attention it requires. Public understanding of the existential threat of climate change has begun to shift. Climate emergencies are being declared, with Nicola Sturgeon referencing one in her SNP party conference speech. The committee’s report gives us only a 50% chance of staying within 1.5°C, even if we follow all its recommendations. This is reckless. Because of the colossal shift in public attitudes within the last fortnight, it is now politically realistic to push much harder towards a date far closer to 2025 than to 2045. We have three key demands as a movement, the first of which is that the Scottish Government tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency. Secondly, acknowledge and reverse any inconsistent policies that help drive the climate crisis, and, thirdly, commit to enabling a rapid and just transition to a sustainable and fair society.
The National 3rd May 2019 read more »
This week’s events in the House of Commons remind us of two things: some things are more important than Brexit, and, unlike Brexit, some things we can all agree on – we are undoubtedly facing a climate emergency, writes shadow Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird. Labour’s 2017 manifesto was alive to the magnitude of the challenge facing us. We committed to ensuring 60 per cent of the UK’s energy demand in electricity and heating comes from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030. And, in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, we committed to the UK achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Look below the surface and there’s clearly a difference of opinion between us on what actually constitutes a climate emergency. Labour believes it presents opportunities to transform our economy for the benefit of everyone. That is why we are committed to a green industrial revolution and to a just transition from fossil fuels to renewables. When Nicola Sturgeon announced her climate emergency, she could have made real commitments now to ban fracking, for example, or reverse reckless plans to scrap Air Passenger Duty. But she didn’t. Labour’s green industrial revolution plans are widely recognised by the industry and climate change campaigners as hugely ambitious. They’re certainly bold. Our programme of investment and transformation to achieve a 60 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 could create over 400,000 high-skilled, well-paid, unionised jobs in the UK, 50,000 of them in Scotland. Onshore wind could mean 20,000 new jobs; offshore wind another 15,000 jobs. In addition, our UK-wide home retro-fitting programme could result 15,000 more jobs. Our plan is ambitious but it is achievable – and essential.
Scotsman 3rd May 2019 read more »