Greens to call on the Scottish Parliament to declare a ‘climate emergency’
The Scottish Green Party will urge the Scottish Parliament to declare a “climate emergency” in a debate at Holyrood.
The party will call on Parliament to back the goal to limit global warning to 1.5C, to bring in a legislative ban on fracking and to realise a policy of maximum economic recovery of oil and gas is “incompatible with addressing the climate emergency”.
Scottish Green Environment and Climate spokesman Mark Ruskell, who will lead the debate, will also ask the parliament to support the 1.4 million young people worldwide staging school strikes to highlight climate change.
Mr Ruskell will argue that Parliament has a “moral duty” to act in the interest of future generations and countries on the frontline of climate change.
He said: “Young people in Scotland and across the world have been an inspiration, walking out of classes to highlight the threat posed by the climate emergency, and urging governments to take the bold action required to address it.
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has given us a decade to bring emissions down to a level where we can keep global temperature rises below 1.5 degrees.
“To miss that objective would be to condemn millions to misery and bring the widespread collapse of our natural world.
“This is a climate emergency.
“If we are serious about tackling this crisis head on, there needs to be an acknowledgement that maximum economic extraction of oil and gas cannot happen.
“We can’t burn all the reserves we already know about, and we should not kid ourselves that further exploration is a responsible option.”
Mr Ruskell said anti-fracking campaigners will be “frustrated” at the delay of a final decision on fracking from the Scottish Government.
It recently announced plans for a third public consultation on fracking, having previously said it would make its final decision to Parliament before April 2019.
Mr Ruskell said: “QC legal advice is clear that Scotland has the powers to implement a legally watertight ban on this destructive and unsustainable process and the Government should get on with doing that.
“Greens will give MSPs the chance to back that call in Parliament today.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “It is a cause for optimism that young people around the world are taking a stand on climate change and we are pleased to see our young people engaging actively on this global challenge.
“The First Minister met with young climate change campaigners today and listened to their concerns and arguments for even stronger ambition. Our Climate Change Bill contains the most ambitious statutory targets of any country in the world for 2020, 2030 and 2040, and will mean Scotland is carbon-neutral by 2050.
“However, we want to achieve net-zero emissions for all greenhouse gases as soon as possible and have been clear that we’ll set a target date as soon as this can be done credibly and responsibly.
“We are currently awaiting advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change, which is due on 2 May. If the Committee advise that we can now set even more ambitious targets, we will act on that.”