Climate Assembly, Be Bold!

As Scotland’s Climate Citizens Assembly reaches crunch time and starts voting on recommendations, Extinction Rebellion Scotland asks Assembly members to be bold.

Press Release: Edinburgh, 4 March 2021 

Phone: 07507888837

Thursday 4th March 2021: 

  • XR Scotland have scaled the roof of Holyrood Parliament this morning and dropped a banner reading: Climate Assembly, Be Bold.
  • Today, XR Scotland releases a video summary of the evidence heard at the assembly highlighting a key dilemma from experts: the current system cannot respond appropriately to the climate emergency.
  • XR Scotland ask assembly members to be bold!

Scotland’s Climate Citizens Assembly is about to enter its sixth weekend, with an additional seventh requested by 85% of assembly members. They have been tasked with responding to the question, ‘How should Scotland change to tackle the climate emergency in an effective and fair way?’

Extinction Rebellion Scotland was originally part of the Stewarding Group, but pulled out because they felt that those with an interest in maintaining the status quo were frightened of rocking the boat, and were not allowing the Assembly to hear a wide enough range of evidence. XR wanted assembly members to be supported to decide how serious the emergency is, assess the systematic drivers of the crisis, and decide the level of transformation required.

Justin Kenrick, one of the former members of the Stewarding Group commented on one glaring issue with the evidence brought to assembly members: “There was never any evaluation of the seriousness of the climate emergency. There was a lot of focus on being fair to different sectors in Scotland but not fairness to those elsewhere in the world suffering now or to future generations. To be fair in that fundamental way you have to first assess how serious the emergency is, and the assembly never collectively had the opportunity to do that.”

Today, XR Scotland are publishing a video summary of the evidence heard by Assembly members which highlights a key dilemma: the current political and economic system cannot respond accordingly to the climate emergency.

The climate emergency is just that, a real emergency. Kevin Anderson, an assembly evidence lead, made clear in his contribution that starting now, emissions need to be rapidly dropped for Scotland to fairly play its part in meeting the obligations of the Paris Agreement, which will go some way to tackling the emergency. But the CEO of the Scottish and UK Government’s own advisory body Committee on Climate Change Chris Stark points out that within the current system, even the current climate targets cannot be met, while Scottish Government’s climate change advisor David Reay has outlined that current targets rely completely on unproven technologies.

In light of this dilemma, Extinction Rebellion Scotland are asking assembly members to be bold.

Kate Dyer commented; “This is the moment where we actually have a real chance of circumventing the status quo of traditional politics which is only committed to not rocking the boat. The citizens sitting in this assembly have a chance to respond to the root causes of this emergency and turn the ship around. We are asking assembly members to be bold.” 

About Extinction Rebellion Scotland

Extinction Rebellion Scotland is a non-violent direct-action movement formed to take urgent action in the face of climate emergency and ecological catastrophe, as part of the global justice movement.

Our demands, issued as a Declaration of Rebellion to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government on 24th November 2018, are as follows;

  1. That the Scottish Government tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, acknowledge and reverse any policies that help drive the climate crisis, and commit to enabling a rapid and just transition to a sustainable and fair society.
  2. That the Scottish Government enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025, including by replacing a system based on accelerating consumption with one based on ensuring the wellbeing of all.
  3. The creation of a legally binding Scottish Climate Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose and a society that cares for all.