EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE
We’ve collected together some of the most frequently ask questions about climate change and the SCCS campaign.
Why is there a new Climate Change Bill in Scotland and what is it for?
The Scottish Government has proposed a new Scottish Climate Change Bill to reset the long-term greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions targets for Scotland. The Government wants to do this to contribute to the Paris Agreement aim of keeping the world well below 2C of warming and to aim for 1.5C.
A new Climate Change Bill is Scotland's chance to show that it will be at the forefront of combating climate change, championing innovation and care about this planet, the population that live on it, and the rich biodiversity we share it with.
What should the new targets be?
In order to keep the planet, its people, and its wildlife safe, SCCS believes that Scotland's target must be for zero ghgs by 2050 at the latest. We also want to see a more ambitious target for a 77% reduction by 2030.
Will my e-action or postcard make a difference?
Taking action only takes two minutes, and will reverberate very loudly with politicians and the government - they pay close attention to public sentiment. It will be your good green deed for the day!
Why do we need to act on climate change?
Climate change poses a huge threat to people and planet. Global temperatures have been rising for over a century, and the rate of change continues to accelerate. 2016 was the hottest year on record with an increase in extreme weather events - causing floods, famine and threatening people's homes. The simple truth is the one that so many of us don't want to face: that the climate catastrophe is already upon us. We must act now or much worse will follow.
But hasn't the climate been warmer in the past?
The climate changes slowly and always has done, but that's not what's happening here. This is a sudden and dramatic rise in temperatures across the planet, driven but the massive increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere due to human activity. The rate of change is unprecedented outside of a catastrophic geological event. It's not how hot or cold it's getting that matters, it's the rate of change. The faster it changes, the more the cost - in money, in resources, and in lives.
What will happen if we don't act on climate change?
Extreme weather events like droughts will become more frequent and unpredictable. Society's infrastructure is built around our current climate, but will increasingly be tested and found wanting. If the Gulf Stream slows down, much of north-west Europe will become uninhabitable in winter. What happens when whole regions become uninhabitable? How do you relocate an entire city because it now sits on a flood plane? As resources become stretched, what will happen to our compassion for one another? We've had war for oil, are you ready for war for water?
What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?
A low-carbon economy will deliver many benefits beyond cutting our greenhouse gases, such reduced fuel poverty, cleaner air, thousands of jobs, and improved health - not to mention safeguarding the planet's extraordinary and diverse wildlife. Read the full FAQ document below for more examples!
What does agriculture have to do with climate change?
Farming is responsible for almost 25% of Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions. A key way to cut the powerful ghg nitrous oxide is for all farmers to use nitrogen fertiliser more efficiently - which would also save them money. A Nitrogen Budget for Scotland would encourage a more efficient use of fertiliser, save farmers money, and improve the countryside for wildlife. Sustainable farming can also help us in other ways, providing more wildlife, better health, clean rivers and seas, and more accessible food.
Why are we focusing on energy efficiency?
Heating for our homes is a big proportion of our emissions in Scotland. Energy efficiency makes the essentials more affordable for some of the poorest in our neighbourhoods, improving people's living conditions and ensuring good health and more financial stability. We want all homes to be insulated and have energy efficiency measures installed to give each house an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C by 2025.
How will improving transport make a difference?
Transport is the biggest source of ghg emissions in Scotland. Almost a quarter of all our emissions come from transport, with about two thirds of that coming from people using the roads. Currently in Scotland there are around 2000 premature deaths related to air pollution levels every year. Electric vehicles (EVs) are a serious alternative, long with public transport and active travel (walking and cycling). SCCS wants the Government to show leadership and drive the change by targeting an end to the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
A detailed FAQs document can be downloaded below - these are the most common climate change FAQs, but with a twist. What is often forgotten in climate change debates is the human side and often only focus on the facts and figures. Our FAQs are answered both by our brain and our hearts to make sure we show the full picture.