Dozens of Scots are heading off to the culmination of the Paris climate talks carrying a message that citizens are now leading the way in the fight against climate change.


The Paris talks look like producing a deal that fails to deliver protections for the most vulnerable, and sees countries who have got rich through fossil fuels shirking their responsibility for solving the problem. 50 activists travelling with Friends of the Earth Scotland will leave this evening to travel to Paris arriving tomorrow on the final day of negotiations.  


The group includes a wide range of people including those who work in community energy, food campaigning plus students and retired people, and spans a range of ages, backgrounds and motivations for going. 


Robin Duval who works in community renewables in Edinburgh

“Community-owned renewable energy gives us an opportunity to tackle climate change whilst ensuring that people benefit from these changes. Across Scotland we see folk getting involved in clean energy and campaigning passionately against fossil fuels. 

“I’m going to Paris to link up with other communities to share stories of Scotland’s success and learn about their experiences. Together we will demand greater political support right across the world to ensure that more people can take control of their energy future.”


Lisa Seary, lives in the traditional crofting township of Bhuirgh /Borve in the Outer Hebrides and is a member of the Scottish Crofting Federation

“I will be travelling by bus, ferry, train, and coach the 1,000 miles to join with others from around the world to call for climate justice. Crofters have been good stewards, existing sustainably for generations but the increase in extreme weather that we are already experiencing in the Outer Hebrides endangers our ability to keep the land productive. 

“Global leaders have repeatedly failed to choose a safe, clean, renewable energy future and to put the needs of people before short-term business interests or political gain. People are now showing politicians that there is another way and demanding that they follow.”

Amanda Grimm (29) University Administrator, Edinburgh commented:

”I’m going to demonstrate in Paris because I want to do everything I can to prevent the tragedies that will occur if global temperatures rise to the predicted levels. The current proposals from world leaders would set us on track for a global temperature rise of 3 – 4°C, which would cause far more death, displacement, conflict and species extinction.


There are enough tragedies happening in the world right now, and this is an area in which there is a clear path we can take to prevent more suffering. By making our views heard at the end of the talks, we will show that ordinary people around the world will continue to push for strong, urgent action – and take action ourselves – to cut emissions enough to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C.”


Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:


“Many of these people are already active campaigners on issues like food, fracking or land reform but for some Paris will be the start of a longer personal journey around climate change.  These UN talks were always unlikely to provide a just or fair solution to the climate crisis so we will connect the visitors from Scotland with people facing similar struggles across Europe and around the world, helping to inspire the movement to make Scotland fossil free.” 



Notes to Editors

1. The coach will depart Edinburgh at 5pm on Thursday 10th December and return at midnight on Sunday. 


2. On Friday 11th December they will join a Friends of the Earth International event in Paris featuring a day of inspiring speakers, music, discussion, networking and solidarity. This will begin a weekend of creative activism showing how People Power is winning fights against fossil fuels and building support for community energy.


3. On Saturday 12th December, the contingent will join thousands of others from the French Coalition Climat 21 and Friends of the Earth France. Together, in small groups, they will legally and peacefully map a giant message of Climate Justice and Peace across the streets of Paris.  


4. You can follow what’s happening through Twitter with @FoEScot, @mmachch and @Richard_Dixon and through the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland daily blogs http://stopclimatechaos.org/campaigns/un-international-climate-talks 


5. Friends of the Earth International has print quality images available from the past two weeks in Paris.https://www.flickr.com/photos/foei/ 

6. 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. www.foe-scotland.org.uk