Simultaneous climate disasters are taking place around the world, as this summer’s heatwave continues:

  • Wildfires in Greece killed at least 60 people
  • Hundreds dead or missing after flash floods in Laos collapse dam
  • Japan declares its heatwave a natural disaster, after 65 deaths in a week.
  • Forest fires in Sweden are burning inside the Arctic Circle.

Record breaking temperatures have been recorded across the world over the last month, including Ottawa, Canada; Southern California; Ouargla, Algeria; Tibilisi, Georgia; Tokyo, Japan; Sydney, Australia.

Scotland has been impacted with the highest ever temperature recorded in Glasgow earlier this month, and private water supplies drying up in Moray.

 

Commenting on the crises, Friends of the Earth Scotland Climate Campaigner Caroline Rance said:

“There is no doubt that the prolonged extreme temperatures and floods we are witnessing around the world right now are a result of climate change. Temperature records are being broken across the UK and globally, exactly as climate science has long warned, and with devastating consequences.

“We can no longer ignore the impacts of our changing climate, as wildfires rage in the Arctic circle and kill dozens in Greece, flash floods displace thousands in Laos, and Japan suffers from an extended heatwave. Increased global warming means that events like these will become much more powerful and more frequent in future, and nowhere, including Scotland, will be immune from the impacts.

“Both these headline-grabbing events and the slow motion disasters, such as droughts leading to crop failures, show that we have no time to waste in cutting climate emissions. We cannot afford to delay or pretend that ‘business as usual’ is still an option, decisions must be made today to significantly cut our emissions within the next decade.

“The Scottish Government’s recent proposals for a new climate law do almost nothing to increase action within the next ten years, despite this being the most crucial time for climate action. MSPs from across the Parliament must strengthen the new law, and take action now for a rapid and just transition to a zero carbon economy.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Information about the specifics of the extreme weather events are available across media outlets.
  2. The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Bill proposes new targets for cutting Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2030 (a slight increase on the previous commitment to cut emissions by 66% by 2032) and 90% by 2050. Targets consistent with science and a fair shares approach would be 77% by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2040.
  3. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
    • Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
    • An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
    • Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.