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Home  >  News  >  Moderator's Climate Call to MSPs


Moderator's Climate Call to MSPs

Thursday February 27 2019

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has challenged Scottish legislators to deliver a  zero carbon emissions economy by 2050 ‘at the very latest’.

The Rt Rev Susan Brown, speaking at a climate justice coffee morning at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh this morning, said the nation must be at the forefront of the ethical and political fight to tackle climate change.

She said climate justice was one of the defining challenges of the age and the greatest impact of rising temperatures is felt by the poorest people in the world.

Mrs Brown said: “Since the Climate Change Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May 2018, there has been a growing awareness that we are no longer just facing climate change but are facing a climate emergency.

“We have heard this from scientists around the world, and from speakers young and old.

“The report on a world warmed by 1.5 Celsius produced for the United Nations late last year shocked us by spelling out the damage that will result and has caused many of us to think how we can respond more quickly.”

Mrs Brown, who is spending this week engaging with MSPs on issues important to the Church, said Scotland has made impressive progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the last 10 years.

“Targets that were previously thought to be unattainable, such as meeting an interim target of a 43% reduction by 2020, have already been exceeded,” she added.

“A net target of 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 might appear very difficult to achieve but with rapid decarbonisation of the economy envisaged in the draft Scottish Energy Strategy there is no reason to dismiss it.

“The Scottish Government could make this commitment and set a global standard for others to follow.”

Mrs Brown said she hoped the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland group will lobby for a more ambitious target to be included in the Climate Change Bill.

“We work closely with Eco-Congregation Scotland and its 450 registered churches around the country; and with Christian Aid to bring stories and messages from around the world,” she added.

Mrs Brown added that the greatest impact of climate change is felt by the world’s poorest.

“These people don’t have the industrialised past we have, they are not responsible for what is happening to our world but they bear the brunt of the impact of our past,” she added.

“It’s about standing with those who are living daily with the consequences of a past we have been responsible for.”

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