Climate change is already devastating, says Scottish charity

Sciaf climate change web

Sciaf is calling on the Scottish Government to dramatically increase its climate change targets and do more to reverse the effects of climate change

28th August 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) has launched a campaign demanding the Scottish Government sets tougher targets in its new climate change bill.

It has said it sees first-hand the devastation erratic weather, more severe frequent storms and droughts are causing people in developing countries.

A new policy report, produced by Sciaf as part of its climate change campaign, has been sent to the first minister and MSPs highlighting how poverty-stricken families are struggling for survival because of extreme weather and outlining what more needs to be done to save lives and livelihoods.

With less than a month to go before the Climate Change Bill public consultation ends, Sciaf is also urging Scots to back its campaign by sending letters to Nicola Sturgeon calling on her to make sure the new Climate Change bill commits Scotland to doing its fair share to tackle the growing problem.

More than 8,000 people have already written to the Scottish Government urging it to rethink its climate plans.

The human cost of climate change

Climate change is already devastating, says Scottish charity

Climate change is making life harder for farming families like Mercy Malango’s from Namkumba village, Mangochi District, Malawi.

The mother-of-four said: “Before, rain fell in predictable patterns. You could go out to plant your seeds after the first rains and the rains would continue falling. But now, the rains can stop early. It is very erratic and unpredictable. I don’t know when to plant. If we plant, the rains dry up after a few days and the plants die.  It’s very hard to plan.

“When the first rains come, we are deceived into thinking that it is now planting time when it really is not. We end up losing our seeds and we find it hard to find more.”

Sciaf has campaigned for climate justice since 2008 ahead of Scotland’s world-leading Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, which set world-leading greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, including a target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.

The charity believes that the new climate change bill proposals, which includes changing the 2050 target to a 90% emissions reduction, do not go far enough. The report calls on the Scottish Government to ramp up its ambitions by increasing its target to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest and a reduction of 77% by 2030. It is also urging the government to make sure future finance budgets are in place to support these targets, to outline clear actions to reduce emissions from housing, transport and farming, as well as  explore options to tackle Scotland’s consumption-based emissions.

Sciaf director Alistair Dutton said: “The people we work with in developing countries constantly tell us how life is becoming harder and harder for families as a result of climate change. Small-scale farmers tell us they are struggling to grow food on their land in the way they’ve done for generations because the weather is becoming so unpredictable.

“We know that droughts, floods, hurricanes and typhoons happen more often now and they’re becoming more severe, costing lives, health and livelihoods. It is essential that we take this chance to play our part and really show people around the world that Scotland cares.”

Supporters are being urged to get involved with the campaign ahead of the climate change bill public consultation deadline on 22 September.

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