We know that climate change is affecting people today.
Communities are already experiencing the impacts of man-made climate change, especially in the global South, but also increasingly here in Europe. Those least responsible for causing climate change are harmed first and worst.
Friends of the Earth believes that European and other rich industrialised countries who are most responsible for causing climate change, must do their fair share to act first and fastest to combat climate change in ways that do not deepen social injustice. Scotland must play its part.
Scotland’s new Climate Law
The science is clear. To limit global warming we need urgent action in the next decade.
But the Scottish Government’s draft climate law, published in May 2018, kicks climate action into the long grass and pushes the burden for tackling climate change onto future generations.
We’re working to ensure the new Climate Change Act delivers our fair share of global greenhouse gas cuts, and builds a just transition towards a fairer, healthier, zero-carbon Scotland.
To set Scotland on a path consistent with the Paris Agreement aims of limiting global warming to 1.5C, this new law needs to set stronger targets, together with new policies to deliver rapid emissions cuts.
The campaign so far
- June 2017 – Scottish Government published proposals for the new Climate Bill. The government had chosen not to listen to the science, and proposed to do almost nothing extra to tackle climate change between now and 2030.
- Summer 2017 – Almost 20,000 people responded to the government consultation, 99% of whom called for stronger targets and more climate action! Read our response.
- May 2018 – The draft Climate Change Bill was published, but there’s a lot to improve!
- Autumn 2018 – Scottish Parliament Environment & Climate Change committee start their inquiry into the draft law.
- April 2019 – We were outside the Parliament calling for more ambition as MSPs debated the Bill for the first time. Check out the highlights from the ‘Running Out Of Time’ rally
- April 2019 – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared a Climate Emergency.
- May 2019 – Following advice from UK Committee on Climate Change, the Scottish Government proposed a new target of ‘net-zero’ climate emissions by 2045.
- June 2019 – MSPs on the Environment Committee debated and vote on over 100 proposed amendments to the Bill.
What have we won so far?
- In September 2017, thanks to public pressure, the government listened to all of us and committed to two of the things we were asking for:
- They pledged to phase out the sale of new fossil fuelled vehicles by 2032, which will help to bring down emissions from transport.
- The Scottish Government also committed to establishing a Just Transition commission to advise the Government on how to make the move towards a low-carbon economy in a fair way. This was one of our key asks during the consultation, and will help ensure the benefits of a low carbon economy are shared within Scotland. We’re still fighting for this commission to be established in law.
- In April 2019, following public pressure from growing climate movements Extinction Rebellion and youth strike for climate, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency.
- In June 2019, MSPs voted to improve the targets – to 70% cuts in emissions by 2030 (from 66%) and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 (target had previously been 90% cut in emissions by 2050). These are welcome steps forward, but still not strong enough.
The Bill must pass through three stages in the Scottish Parliament before it can become law; during which time all MSPs will have the chance to debate, vote and suggest improvements to the Climate Bill.
Currently, we’re about to enter Stage 3 of the process. This means that all MSPs will debate potential changes to the Bill in the form of amendments. This will be last chance to improve the Bill so it’s crucial that people keep pushing their MSPs to deliver the changes needed.
In March, the Parliament’s Environment & Climate Change committee published a report based on evidence from a wide variety of experts and stakeholders on what more Scotland could and should do to tackle climate change. You can see reaction to this report here.
MSPs then debated and backed the general principles of the Bill in Parliament. You can see the transcript of that Stage 1 debate here.
To improve the Bill, we need to work with all parties in the Parliament. Please help by emailing your MSP and asking them to support stronger targets.
The final debate on the Bill could be before the end of September 2019. We need to keep up the pressure throughout the final weeks of this process. Read Caroline’s blog on what more needs to happen
This 30 minute webinar with Caroline (FoES) and Ryan from Stop Climate Chaos explains what is going on with the Climate Bill.
Shoring up Nicola Sturgeon’s climate legacy
After eight years, Scotland has a new First Minister. Under Nicola Sturgeon the Scottish Government made a lot of progress, but now it must go further and faster.
COP27: Outcomes from the climate talks and what it means for action in Scotland
What happened at the talks in Egypt and how it will impact our work at home.
Edinburgh joins Global Day of Action for Climate Justice
The route took the crowd past different stops highlighting the banks, polluters and governments who are driving climate breakdown.
Latest Press Releases
‘Underwhelming’ Programme for Government – warm words won’t stop a warming planet
This is an underwhelming programme for more of the same when what is needed a radical change that can speed Scotland away from fossil fuels.
IPCC climate report shows urgent need to end fossil fuels
Environmental campaigners have said that the latest UN climate report makes clear that governments must say no to new fossil fuels and tackle an economic system that is speeding us…
‘Scathing judgement’ on Scottish climate plans from advisors
Environmental campaigners have said the the UK Committee on Climate Change has delivered a ‘scathing judgement’ of the Scottish Government’s climate efforts in their latest progress report published today (7/12/22)…
National Planning Framework 4 Briefing
The Role of the Scottish Government in the Phase Out of Oil & Gas
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified this decade as our last chance to make the “rapid and deep emissions reductions” required to limit warming to 1.5ºC. At the same time, our current energy system, which is delivering billions in profits to oil and gas companies every year, is pushing millions of people in Scotland into fuel poverty. This means that a rapid, yet just, transition away from fossil fuels to clean, affordable, renewable energy is an urgent necessity.
Onshore conventional oil & gas call for evidence – FoES response
A position of no support for onshore conventional oil and gas extraction must therefore be adopted, and enforced through the licensing regime and the new National Planning Framework 4.
FoES response to Scottish Government coal consultation
National Planning Framework 4 Consultation Response
A manifesto for local authorities – 2022 Council Elections
This manifesto sets out some of the priorities for action that parties should champion in their manifestos, and the policies that should be taken to deliver them.