Extinction Rebellion Glasgow call on Glasgow City Council to declare a Climate Emergency

As London’s mayor Sadiq Khan declares a climate emergency this morning (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/11/london-mayor-sadiq-khan-city-climate-emergency) Extinction Rebellion Glasgow calls on Glasgow City Council to declare a Climate Emergency, in line with councils in Bristol, London and other cities around the world.

All Glasgow City Councillors this morning (12th December) received a letter from Extinction Rebellion Glasgow at Glasgow City Chambers, calling on them to recognise the urgency of climate change and to speak honestly with their citizens: to tell the truth and act as if the truth is real.

Glasgow is one of millions of cities around the world facing irrevocable and life-threatening damage to its major public infrastructure due to climate chaos. In the Climate Ready Clyde study published at the end of October, thought to be the most in-depth carried out for any city region in the UK, said that by 2050 the area will be hit by far more powerful storms, by regular heatwaves and by heavy winter flooding, affecting up to 1.8 million people. The poorest citizens are likely to be the worst affected. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/31/glasgow-major-roads-railways-and-hospitals-at-risk-from-climate-change-study

Extinction Rebellion Glasgow’s mission is to take urgent action in the face of catastrophic climate change as part of the global climate justice movement, calling on governments to commit to enabling a rapid and just transition to a sustainable and fair society with legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025, including replacing a system based on accelerating consumption with one based on ensuring the wellbeing of all.

The letter delivered this morning demands that councillors do more to prevent and mitigate against the problems we are already experiencing and limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees. Councillors must lead the way by declaring a climate emergency. Now is the time to act.

Full letter:

Extinction Rebellion Glasgow urges councillors to declare a climate emergency, in line with successful council motions in Bristol, London, Stroud and elsewhere.

The people of Glasgow note:

1. Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm). This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;

2. In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible; [1]

3. Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon living easier and the new norm;

4. Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

5. Unfortunately, our current plans and actions are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050; [2], [3]

6. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published last month, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities[3];

7. City Councils around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency. [4]

8. Scotland is a world leader in ambitious climate targets, however these targets still don’t come close to what is required if we are to try to prevent the worst of human inflicted climate catastrophe.

Extinction Rebellion members demand that:

1. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. It is important for the residents of Glasgow and the UK that cities commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.

2. Cities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as they are in many ways easier to decarbonise than rural areas – for example because of their capacity for heat networks and mass transit;

3. The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority; and,

4. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities as well as improved well-being for people worldwide and food sovereignty.

The people of Glasgow call on Glasgow City Council to:

1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;

2. Pledge to make the city of Glasgow carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3)[5];

3. Call on Glasgow City Council, Holyrood and Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible;

4. Work with other governments and institutions (both within the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C;

5. Continue to work with partners across the city and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;

6. Report to Full Council within six months with the actions the Mayor/Council will take to address this emergency.


1. Fossil CO2 & GHG emissions of all world countries, 2017:


2. World Resources Institute:


3. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C:


4. Including US cities Berkeley:

https://www.theclimatemobilization.org/blog/2018/6/13/berkeley-unanimously-declaresclimate-emergency  and Hoboken:


the C40 cities: https://www.c40.org/other/deadline-2020 as well as Bristol in the UK:

5. Scope 1, 2 and 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol explained:


Adapted from the Bristol Declaration of Climate Emergency (a motion put forward by Councillor Carla Denyer, 13 November 2018).