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Paperboats

1000 Climate Hopes

Dear MSP

Scottish writers and artists call for cross-party support for urgent climate action

On the morning of the 23rd November 2023, writers, artists, activists and supporters, will gather outside the Scottish Parliament to deliver climate messages from the people of Scotland, calling for cross-party support for urgent and rapid action on climate change.

In 2015, signatories of the Paris Climate Agreement, including the UK, agreed to keep global warming below 1.5 °C, beyond which the impacts of climate change are expected to become increasingly severe. Recent research has revealed that global heating is now accelerating faster than predicted. July this year was the hottest month ever recorded. September broke the previous record for that month by a staggering 0.5°C. The 1.5°C threshold is now likely to be breached this decade resulting in significant increases in extreme weather events, damage to our wellbeing, and a threat to food security. The recent flooding in Brechin highlighted the impacts of extreme weather on our people and infrastructure. The overtopping of the newly constructed flood defences in Brechin, costing £16 million and designed to withstand 1 in 200 year flood events, has demonstrated how ill-prepared Scotland is to face this alarming future.

It is clear that our lack of ambition and action on climate change has caused us to stray into perilous territory. We are exceeding temperatures not experienced in the entirety of modern humanity, and yet, the UK Government is relentlessly pursuing a fossil fuel agenda, granting approval for the Rosebank Oil Field in September this year. The oil and gas extracted from Rosebank will be sold on global markets, doing nothing to ensure our own energy security, nor alleviate fuel poverty. The UK government is also showing worrying signs of backtracking on its climate commitments and pushing back on net zero goals. Scotland too is failing to meet its own emissions targets.

We are now desperately worried about the impact that the existential threat of climate breakdown, and continued political inaction in the face of it, is having on the mental and physical health of our young people, driving many to take more extreme direct action. Research published in The Lancet in 2021, found that Climate change has significant implications for the health and futures of children and young people, yet they have little power to limit its harm, making them vulnerable to increased climate anxiety, feelings of betrayal, abandonment and moral injury. A staggering four in ten young people around the world, expressed a fear of having children as a result of the climate crisis and fear that governments are doing too little to prevent catastrophe.

In short, we are failing our young.

As individuals, the majority of people in Scotland are deeply concerned about the climate crisis, and while we are all making sacrifices to reduce our personal impacts on the planet, we are in desperate need of bold leadership to drive much needed systemic change. We are therefore calling on all MSPs to pledge their support for the following actions:

  • Unite behind the message that climate change is not a party political issue. MSPs of ALL parties must come together and agree rapid and urgent action to tackle the accelerating climate emergency.
  • While energy is not a devolved issue, all of Scotland’s MSPs need to stand firm in opposition to new oil and gas projects in the North Sea, and accelerate support for a fair transition for workers in the oil and gas industry.
  • Scotland must be bolder and braver in its climate commitments and ensure it keeps its promises.
  • Politicians of all parties must unite behind a commitment to our young people and place urgent climate action at the heart of all future decision-making.

We invite you to join us between 9.30 and 11.30am on the morning of the 23rd November, outside the Scottish Parliament where we will be delivering climate messages of hope, collected in libraries, schools and community centres across Scotland. There will be poetry and music from some of Scotland’s leading artists.

Please join us and hear our voices:

Scotland Be Brave! Let’s stand firm in opposition to new oil and gas in the North Sea. Let’s exceed our climate targets and lead the world in a fair transition.

Sincerely,

The Paperboats Collective