Extinction Rebellion Scotland interrupt Portfolio Questions in the Scottish Parliament

  • Extinction Rebellion Scotland interrupt Portfolio Questions in the Scottish Parliament, demanding action in the face of the climate emergency.
  • Activists called out “CCC report spells catastrophe” and dropped two banners from the gallery that stated “2045 is ecocide” and “Citizens’ Assembly Now”.

TODAY, Wednesday 5th June at 3pm, activists from Extinction Rebellion Scotland interrupted Portfolio Questions on Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, to push for greater action on the most important issue of our time: the climate emergency. Activists called out “CCC report spells catastrophe” and dropped two banners from the gallery that stated “2045 is ecocide” and “Citizens’ assembly now”.

The aim of their action was to push for a climate bill that is fit for purpose.

The First Minister declared a Climate Emergency on 29th April but whipped SNP MSPs to unanimously vote down climate emergency legislation just one month prior on the 28th of March.

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act is expected to set a 2045 target for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report recommendations. But the CCC have hidden the scale and urgency of the cuts needed today by assuming enormous volumes of carbon will be removed from the atmosphere in the future by unproven technological fixes. This allows for politically palatable conclusions which see continued exploration of North Sea oil and gas, continued airport expansion and incremental changes to business as usual. This still puts us on course for truly catastrophic warming. The Scottish Government have declared a climate emergency in word only, but are still kicking the can down the road.

Niamh McNulty, sustainability student states: “If the climate bill is passed it will be lauded as the most ambitious global strategy for dealing with climate change, what a crying shame that the benchmark for the rest of the world then will be so low. We need more creative, more realistic and more socially conscious policies that aim to democratise the process of dealing with the trauma of climate catastrophe instead of relying on the old guard of economic and tech fixes when it’s that system that found us in this mess. That is why today we called out the inadequacies of the bill and demanded the establishment of a climate citizens assembly.”

Lauren McGlynn, 38, photographer said: “The government claims that Scotland are world leaders in Climate Change legislation, and that the CCC report recommendation of net zero emissions by 2045 is the best that Scotland can do. But if Scotland is truly committed to saving the world from climate & ecological catastrophe then we can do so much more. The CCC report allows for continued oil & gas extraction, it doesn’t address agricultural practices, it has minimal recommendations for reforesting, and it passes the burden of dealing with the crises 20 years down the line when it will be too late. We have to dramatically reorient our entire society and economy around restoring our climate and our ecosystems to save our planet for future generations & all life forms or all hope is lost. Not doing enough is just as bad as doing nothing. The Government must face up to the true scale of the changes that are needed and they have to do it now! That is why we in Extinction Rebellion Scotland are doing everything that we can to try and get the government to make the Climate Bill one that will truly lead the world to a sustainable future.”

Another activists present in parliament stated: “I felt this action was necessary to ensure the government takes meaningful action that lives up to their declaration of a climate emergency.”

Today’s disruption follows on the heels of an Extinction Rebellion Scotland action yesterday wherein five rebels locked themselves by the neck to the front of the Scottish Parliament Building. The keys were delivered to the leaders of the Scottish Greens, Lib Dems, Conservatives and Labour as well as the SNP cabinet secretary for environment, climate change and land reform with a note stating that “this target of 2045 is nowhere near ambitious enough to minimise the risk of catastrophic climate change of 1.5.c or more”. The note also stated that the leaders “hold the key to our future” and are a symbol that decision makers need to step up and free those whom they supposedly represent from a future mired by ecological and climate breakdown. The note asked the leaders to come and unlock the rebels and engage in a productive dialogue on the Climate Bill with them. Today’s disruption demands they take action.

Extinction Rebellion has no intention of easing up the pressure; from 16th – 20th June we will be hosting a camp outside the Parliament as they debate the Climate Bill in order to hold them to account and push for a democratic, socially just, and necessary transformation of our society instead of a bill that relies on economic growth and unproven technologies.