Five Keys Two Futures: Extinction Rebellion Scotland Lock Onto Scottish Parliament Building

  • Five Extinction Rebellion Scotland activists are locked to the Scottish Parliament building
  • The five keys which will unlock each individual activist have been delivered to the leaders of the five main political parties with a letter
  • Each person has a different demand around their necks – “Climate Citizens Assembly Now”, “End North Sea Extraction”, “Just Transition For Workers”, “Rewild and Reforest” and “Zero Carbon 2025”.

Five Extinction Rebellion Scotland activists have locked themselves by the neck to the front of the Scottish Parliament building to demand that the upcoming Scottish Climate Bill responds to the current climate and ecological emergency. The keys to the locks have been delivered to the five leaders of the main political parties within Scotland along with a note. 

Each note states that “your target is nowhere near ambitious enough to minimise the risk of catastrophic climate change of 2.C warming or more. It doesn’t do enough to mitigate the rapidly unfolding climate and ecological crises”. The note also states that the leaders “hold the key to our future”. The keys symbolise that only political parties can free us from a future mired by ecological and climate breakdown. The notes request the leaders come and unlock the rebels and engage in a productive dialogue on the Climate Bill with them.

A similar action was taken by Extinction Rebellion Youth in Leipzig, Germany. Representatives from all five political parties who were sent keys came down to meet the activists, unlock them and discussed the climate and ecological crisis.

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 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 words only, but are still kicking the can down the road.

Some of the activists locked on had this to say;

Rohan Stevenson, 22, student: “Nicola Sturgeon has declared a climate emergency, but unfortunately the latest amendments to the Climate Bill do not reflect that sense of urgency at all. The next decade is make or break: 2045 is twenty years too late. Our MSPs hold the keys to our future – I ask that they have the courage to use them.”

Eleanor Harris, 21; “Right now is the most critical point in the climate movement in Scotland. It’s vital we get our message heard loud and clear by policy makers while the Scottish Climate Bill is being considered. We need them to understand that the changes possible while upholding the growth economy are going to drive millions to extinction, and in order to protect the future of our ecosystem and the human race, far more radical changes are essential. We’re running out of time and options to get MSPs to listen, which is why I locked on today.”

John Hardy, 35, campaigner; “I’m locking myself to Parliament because the politicians are stuck in a business as usual mindset which will destroy the living world, including us all. They shouldn’t have their hands tied by business interests who want growth and profit at all costs. A target of 2045 is ecocide and I can’t sit back and let them sign away our future.”

Note to Scottish Party Leaders from XR lock-ons

Dear _____________ MSP,                                                                                                       

This letter has arrived with a key, the key to our future. Please keep it: you will need to use it very soon.

As you know, this month the Scottish Parliament is considering amendments to the Climate Bill. At present this bill sets a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Unfortunately, climate scientists have warned us that this target is nowhere near ambitious enough to minimize the risk of catastrophic climate change of 2°C or more. It doesn’t do enough to mitigate the rapidly unfolding climate and ecological crises.

According to the IPCC, the whole world—including many countries whose historical emissions and  capacity to respond to the crisis are far less than those of Scotland—needs to make radical cuts in emissions by 2030 in order to stand even a chance of keeping global warming to 1.5°C. In order to do this, we believe that Scotland needs to show real leadership by establishing a much more ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2025. It’s not about what’s feasible under the current system of business-as-usual: it’s about what’s necessary to deal with this existential threat to humanity. A target of 2045 is tantamount to accepting ecocide.