What’s going on here?

Last week, the Scottish Government announced it was scrapping the country’s legally binding climate target to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030. This is despite Scotland having been the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency.

What does this mean?

This news comes after the Climate Change Committee said that the 2030 target was ‘unachievable’ – and after eight out of the previous twelve annual targets had also been missed. Scotland still has a target of being net zero by 2045  – five years earlier than the UK government’s goal. But Friends of the Earth Scotland argue scrapping the milestone 2030 target is the “worst environmental decision in the history of the Scottish Parliament”.

Why should we care?

While climate targets are not a magic solution to the climate crisis (especially if governments don’t meet them!), they can help us hold governments to account. For example, in a recent court case won by older women in Switzerland (you can read about that in our news piece from last week), the court ruled that their human rights had been violated by a failure to meet climate targets. 

The Scottish Government may argue that scrapping the targets is a good thing, as it will allow the parliament to focus on long term actions and policies, rather than specific targets. However, for climate activists it may feel as though the dial has been turned back on years of campaigning.

Be Curious!

  • If you live in Scotland use Friends of the Earth’s easy tool to email your MSP asking them not to scrap the targets.
  • Even if you’re not in Scotland, you can still contact your political representatives to remind them how important ambitious climate targets are.
  • Vote! Whenever you have a chance to vote in local and national elections, vote for political leaders that have good climate policies.
  • Remind yourself why voting is so important with our article from last week about the year of elections.

Featured Image by Waldo Miguez, via Pixabay.