Scottish political leaders lack 'urgency' in tackling climate crisis, environment charities claim
Scotland's political leaders lack urgency in dealing with the climate crisis, environmental and conservation charities claim.
In an open letter directed at "all Scottish party leaders", the heads of 25 organisations call for legal targets for nature restoration and a biodiversity strategy to reverse nature loss, as well as reforms to marine protection and funding for agriculture and forestry.
They also warn against roll-backs on existing environmental commitments.
After a summer marked by record temperatures and wildfire, the letter raises concern that "our political leaders are not responding to" nature and climate crises "with the urgency required".
It says: "The status quo is not sustainable. Yet we have seen key environmental commitments shelved or delayed and increasing signals that differing views on environmental policy will be exploited for electoral purposes or treated as disposable.
"All parties committed to strengthening environmental protection and restoration at the last Scottish election. Scotland, as a wealthy country, as an early industrialiser and as one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, has a moral obligation to show leadership.
"There are opportunities in this parliament to deliver meaningful progress. We call on you all to reaffirm your commitment to the health of our planet - our life support system - by working together to rapidly support measures to reduce emissions in line with statutory targets agreed by this parliament, and halt and reverse nature loss."
Signatories to the letter include Anne McCall, director of RSPB Scotland, Gracie Bradley, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, and Philip Long, chief executive of the National Trust for Scotland.
Woodland Trust Scotland, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and Scottish Wildlife Trust are also amongst the signatories.
The full list is as follows:
Alastair Seaman, director, Woodland Trust Scotland
Alison Lomax, director, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
Alistair Whyte, head of Plantlife Scotland
Anne McCall, director, RSPB Scotland
Clare Cavers, senior project manager, Fidra
Dave Windle, chair, North East Mountain Trust
David McKay, head of policy, Soil Association Scotland
Deborah Long, chief officer, Scottish Environment LINK
Eddie Palmer, chair, Scottish Badgers
Gracie Bradley, director, Friends of the Earth Scotland
Gus Jones, convener, Badenoch & Strathspey Conservation Group
Jo Pike, CEO, Scottish Wildlife Trust
Kat Jones, director, APRS
Kate Elliot, chair, Scottish Countryside Rangers’ Association
Kathy Wormald, CEO, Froglife Trust
Kit Stoner, CEO, Bat Conservation Trust
Lang Banks, director, WWF Scotland
Logan Steele, communications secretary, Scottish Raptor Study Group
Philip Long, CEO, National Trust for Scotland
Sally Hayns, CEO, Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
Shivali Fifield, chief officer, Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland
Steve Micklewright, CEO, Trees for Life
Susan Davies, chief executive, Scottish Seabird Centre
Tim Coleshaw, chair, British Dragonfly Society
Tom Prescott, head of conservation Scotland, Butterfly Conservation
Tony Gent, CEO, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation