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Hundreds of scientists urge Scottish Government to declare 'climate emergency'

Climate strike at Scottish Parliament - image credit: Tom Freeman

Hundreds of scientists urge Scottish Government to declare 'climate emergency'

Hundreds of scientists from institutions across Scotland have written an open letter to Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham urging her to declare a “climate emergency”.

The letter, currently backed by 144 scientists from 14 Scottish Universities and Research Institutes across the country, lends backing to recent climate protests, warning “we are extremely concerned by the lack of urgency shown by governments across the world in the face of climate and ecological breakdown”.

The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found it is still possible to keep global temperature rises to under 1.5C, but doing so would require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.

The Scottish Government’s climate change bill, which recently completed Stage One in its journey through parliament, targets a 90 per cent reduction in admission by 2050.

But the group of scientists called on ministers to go further, backing protestors and school strikers in demanding a target of net-zero emissions by 2025.

Referring to the Scottish Government’s targets, the letter says: “We do not believe that this adequately reflects the level of urgency which this issue merits, or the level of societal engagement which the necessary changes will require.”

It adds: “In recent weeks there has been an unprecedented surge in non-violent direct actions across the world to highlight the global climate and ecological emergency. Throughout the UK, tens of thousands of children and young people have taken part in school strikes while thousands of activists have blocked major roads in Edinburgh and London.

 “These movements are calling for urgent upheaval of the status quo. They demand that the government declares a climate emergency, that we halt biodiversity loss, reduce net emissions to zero by 2025, and that we explore a “Green New Deal” to restructure the economy.

“Most importantly these movements emphasise reformed school curriculums and mass democratic political involvement such as citizen’s assemblies to implement these changes. We believe that the science is there, what is required now is action.”

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