Over the last five years we’ve had some significant successes.
We’ve seen time and time again that people power delivers change. So while we focus on what more there is to do, it’s important to look at the progress being made along the way.
In 2021, we were at the heart of the Scottish climate movement’s action at COP26 in Glasgow. In coalition we helped create an enormous march of over 150,000 people demanding climate justice. Inside the talks we worked alongside international allies to demand the support they need.
We have driven forward the Stop Cambo oil field campaign forcing Shell to pull out of the project. This was achieved through helping the public put pressure on politicians, calling out big polluters and keeping the story in the media spotlight.
In recent years, we’ve seen 25,000 people marching through Edinburgh to rally outside Parliament resulted in a big, last minute improvement of the targets in Scotland’s new Climate Act.
The Scottish Parliament banned fracking thanks to years of hard work by ourselves, our allies and a 60,000-person strong movement, despite a legal challenge from plastics giant INEOS.
We helped secure a Low Emission Zone in Glasgow and the commitment for at least three more. Our pressure helped push the Government to commit to phase out sales of petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. This was joined by an impressive and challenging commitment to reduce car kilometres driven by 20% by the same date.
The new Transport Act gave powers to councils to set up workplace parking schemes and run their own bus companies, with FoE Scotland walking out of an official steering group on air pollution because it was dragging its heels. And two years later we helped write the new air pollution strategy.
Many political parties now talk the language of Just Transition – even if it is not yet backed with the action workers and communities need to see.
In local politics, we have worked alongside local campaigners to shift the £1.2bn of council pension money invested in fossil fuels. The biggest of Scotland’s 11 funds, Glasgow City Council, has backed a plan to do just that.
A Deposit Return Scheme for bottles and cans is being created and the Government has realised the public are hugely behind banning single use plastics. They’ve started with plastic straws, microbeads and cotton bud sticks, with more to come. A new law to promote a Circular Economy was delayed due to COVID-19, but we will be working hard when it returns to parliament.
COVID further exposed how our current economic system is driving inequality as well as environmental breakdown. That’s why we helped create the Just and Green Recovery Alliance, to bring together groups from across civil society to press for a fairer, greener Scotland as we come out of the pandemic.
Trying to get big solutions to urgent problems from a parliamentary system can be slow and frustrating, and there’s so much more to do – but we must remember to celebrate the achievements along the way.
We can only make these positive changes happen because people like you care enough to take action. This could be by coming to events, talking to your local politicians or becoming a member and backing this work with a regular donation.
More campaign successes include:
- The Scottish Government abandoning their support for extracting every drop of oil & gas
- Government pledge to phase out sales of fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2030
- A commitment by the Government to set up a Just Transition Commission and a Scottish National Investment Bank
- A doubling of the walking and cycling budget to £80m a year
- A ban on underground coal gasification in Scotland
- A new Clean Air Strategy for Scotland and a commitment to Low Emission Zones
- Stopping a new supermarket being built on Edinburgh’s most polluted street
- Doubling the target for community renewable energy from 500MW to 1GW
- RBS stopping funding extreme Mountain-Top Removal coal extraction
- Forth Energy giving up on its plans for big biomass power stations in Leith and Dundee
- Stopping a new coal-fired power station in Ayrshire
- A change in Scots law on who has the right to have a case heard in court
- The 2009 Scottish Climate Act – the best piece of climate change legislation in the industrialised world
- Scottish Government backing for no nuclear power stations or genetically-modified crops in Scotland
- Stopping plans for a super-quarry on the Isle of Harris
- Scotland’s first law for Freedom of Information
- Increased public participation in planning
- A zero waste policy in Scottish Government
- An organic food and farming action plan
- Increased recycling provision
- Tougher rules on opencast mining
- Better strategic environmental assessment
Want to know more?
Read our history.