In truth, Scotland has never been a climate leader

XR Scotland statement on Scottish Government scrapping its critical 2030 climate commitments. 

Dismayed, disappointed, angry but we are not surprised. This decision has been years in the making.

In a year when scientists are warning us that the world will pass the 1.5C threshold, the Scottish Government has blown all claims to climate leadership by scrapping its annual and interim targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, including its key 75% by 2030 target.

These commitments were agreed to by cross-party consensus in the Scottish Parliament. People power, climate strikes, public polls, direct action and democratic elections have repeatedly confirmed that the public want strong and just action on climate. In 2021, the environmental world came to Scotland for COP26 and 100,00 people marched through Glasgow for climate action and justice. 

And yet here we are on a day when the Scottish Government turned to political greenwashing rather than climate action. The targets are not the problem.

Today’s announcement confirms the thread of failure going back years. In 2020, XR Scotland pulled out of Scotland’s Climate Citizens Assembly because the assembly was limited by vested interests and failed to take the risks of climate change seriously.

Since then, we have watched with increasing alarm as the Scottish Government postured more and acted less. We’ve seen targets repeatedly missed. We all knew what was happening: according to research done by Friends of the Earth Scotland, there’s been 790 meetings between MSPs and fossil fuel companies or their trade bodies since 2018.

This is not climate leadership, this is abject failure by a country that should be doing better. Germany is on track to meet its targets by 2030. Countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Estonia are hitting their 2030 targets early. They set a plan and did the hard work. Scotland didn’t.

Extinction Rebellion is not giving up. 

Our future and our planet is too precious to do that. We can’t give up for the communities in Scotland, and the most affected people and areas on the frontline who are already being hit by climate chaos.

XR Scotland and our sister organisations are still fighting to mitigate climate and ecological collapse. We will continue to put pressure on the Scottish fossil fuel industry and their enablers in politics, finance and insurance.

Are you upset by this decision? Here’s what you can do to find hope in action and purpose with rebels.

Further reading

Climate Assembly, Be Bold!

XR Scotland can no longer endorse Scotland’s Climate Citizens Assembly