Scotland urges world leaders to wake up to climate change

Extinction Rebellion

Scots-based coaliton takes message to governments

2nd December 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Scotland’s biggest climate coalition has urged governments to “wake up to the climate crisis” and ramp up ambition.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland says world leaders should show intent to make radical change to climate change policies as they meet for this year’s 25th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known as COP25, which starts today (2 Dec).

Campaigners want pledges laid down ahead of next year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow.

Kat Jones, coalition manager from SCCS, who is attending the talks, said: “This year, young people in Scotland and around the world have been inspirational in pushing demands for climate justice towards the top of the political agenda. 

“As the world's leaders gather in Madrid at COP25, we call on them to match this example by waking up to the climate crisis and taking decisive action that puts climate justice at the centre of the global response. These talks must be a key springboard towards the COP in Glasgow next year.”

Climate finance is a major part of the agenda in Madrid with campaigners claiming rich polluting countries are failing to give poor communities the help they need to adapt to the climate crisis or recover from the damage it inflicts.

Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “The climate crisis is wreaking havoc across the globe and the poorest communities – who have done little to fuel the crisis – are paying the heaviest price. Women and children are amongst the hardest hit.

“Governments must make Madrid matter by setting up a financial mechanism to help poorer countries rebuild towns, restore land and re-home communities after climate disasters. They must also deliver the $100 billion a year they promised to poorer countries by 2020 to help them cut their emissions and adapt to this crisis.”

A Social Summit for Climate Action is also being held in Madrid (Dec 6 – 13), with SCCS hosting an event on the Path to COP26 to consult on civil society engagement in Glasgow. The coalition will also join a major public march in Madrid on 6 December.

Mary Church, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "The relocation of COP25 from Santiago to Madrid at such short notice is highly problematic, both in creating additional barriers for global south participation in these critical talks and in taking the spotlight away from the civil unrest in Chile that led to the move. 

“The causes of the entrenched inequality that has triggered the protests in Chile are intertwined with the causes of the climate crisis. The climate crisis is a political crisis that requires systemic and transformative action to avoid catastrophic warming. We condemn the Chilean Government’s brutal repression of the uprising and stand in solidarity with the Chilean people.    

“With COP26 taking place in Glasgow in 2020, it means that four COPs in a row will take place in the global north, resulting in a representation of fewer voices of those most impacted by the climate crisis. We call on the Scottish and UK Governments to do everything they can to ensure strong representation from global south civil society at COP26."