The climate change debate is fuelled again today with the publication of the 5th Synthesis report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The Scottish Government will make a statement in the Scottish Parliament on climate change on Tuesday.
Scottish Government Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:
“The scientific evidence could not be clearer. Climate change is happening now and greenhouse gas emissions from mankind are extremely likely to be the dominant cause.
“In just over 13 months, it is essential that a new global climate treaty is agreed in Paris, given this is crucial to limiting the average global temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Anything less than an ambitious global deal could be devastating to mankind and our environment. The Scottish Government are committed to playing our part by working with our partners, as we have done since the 2009 Climate Change Scotland Act, to deliver on Scotland’s ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets. As highlighted by the Committee on Climate Change, we know there are clear economic benefits and long term cost savings from Scotland taking, as we have, early action to cut emissions.
“The Scottish Government has a comprehensive package of policies and measures in place to deliver a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and the long term trend shows we were over halfway to meeting this target by 2012. A key element of our approach will be to continue to monitor progress and adjust our domestic effort where necessary and, of particular importance, we will seek to further engage with households, communities, businesses, wider society and the public sector on the benefits of taking action on climate change. If we are to meet the challenge we need to enlist the widest possible support across Scottish society in helping avert a key threat to our global society and our collective wellbeing.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:
“The science is clearer than ever that unless we rapidly shift away from dirty energy our planet is on course for devastating climate change. World leaders have agreed that we shouldn’t let temperatures rise by above a dangerous 2 degrees C, yet scientists agree that we are on course for an absolutely catastrophic 7.8 degrees C by the end of the century if we continue business as usual.
“Climate science and global justice demand that we leave the vast majority of known fossil fuels in the ground and focus instead on transforming our energy systems to run on clean renewable sources. In this context, the pursuit of the fracking industry is just about the most irresponsible thing Governments could be doing.”
The report published today in Copenhagen is known as the “Synthesis Report” and builds on three reports released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) throughout 2013-2014.
The IPCC is a senior UN panel made up of thousands of scientists, and this report marks its fifth “assessment” since 1990 of the state of climate science and knowledge.
Church continued: “A clear finding of the IPCC is that to solve climate change at an international level will require the transfer of resources and technology in the order of hundreds of billions of dollars a year to make this transformation happen, this is what is known as the ‘climate debt’ of the rich to the impoverished.”
“The transfer of these resources will allow us to build the community-controlled democratic energy systems we need to fight poverty and climate change at the same time.
“We urge the Scottish Government to listen to the science and use their existing powers to stop unconventional gas drilling and fracking in Scotland, focusing instead on our abundant renewable resources.”
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP said:
“As the language from the scientists gets more urgent, so our response must get more decisive. We need to see momentum building for a big financial shift from dirty to clean investments, and this means public investors being far more pro-active about which industries they back with their millions.
“The Scottish Government has expressed openness to the idea of using their pension funds to back a greener future, but I want to hear from Ministers this week how they plan to make this a top priority for action.”
Meanwhile Councillor Cameron Rose blogs over here on the subject of climate change questioning the robustness of the IPCC reports.