Scots will join a global day of action on Saturday (9 December) to show their support for climate action during the COP28 UN talks taking place in Dubai.
The Edinburgh event will bring together the voices of thousands of people united for action to tackle the climate and nature crisis, secure sustainable jobs, and a fairer, greener, healthier society for everyone.
A wave of global events will take place midway through the COP28 climate talks, and follow a year of devastating climate impacts around the world, UK Government announcements rolling back on climate and nature policies, and the Scottish Government recently delaying its vital new climate plan.
The event is organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition, alongside the UK wide Climate Justice Coalition, local groups and activists. Speakers will cover the headlines from the COP28 talks, highlight the climate impacts being experienced around the world, the opportunities to deliver a fair transition for workers and communities and to protect nature, and the threat posed by new oil fields such as Rosebank and an extra gas-fired power station at Peterhead.
Becky Kenton-Lake, from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said:
“Two years ago over 100,000 people took to the streets of Glasgow to tell world leaders at the COP26 climate talks they wanted action on the climate and nature emergencies.
“Since then, despite record breaking temperatures and increasingly devastating climate impacts, we have seen a lack of robust and urgent action to reduce emissions, protect nature, or make the biggest polluters pay for the damage they are causing.
“People in Scotland have been demanding climate and nature action for years, but temperatures and injustices continue to rise – so now we are rising. This event will give everyone the opportunity to send a strong message to decision makers and show that Scotland stands with other events around the world during the UN climate talks COP28.”
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is a diverse coalition of over 60 organisations campaigning together on climate change, including RSPB Scotland, Christian Aid Scotland, and Unison Scotland.
Speakers at the event shared their views on the importance of joining the Global Day of Action.
Leia Achampong, climate and gender equality activist said:
“Poorer nations have contributed the least to causing climate change. Yet they also have the least resources to adequately tackle this crisis, which is displacing communities, destroying land, and harming people’s livelihoods. We the people are the force that can convince our governments to commit to continued collaboration and to a transfer of resources, so all countries have the ability to tackle the climate crisis. There will be no climate justice without equity, gender equality, human rights and racial justice. Join us on December 9th to hear what else you can do for climate justice”
Manal Shqair, Palestinian climate justice activist said:
“The Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality is inextricably linked to the fight for climate justice-sovereignty over land and natural resources. The climate movement in Scotland should stand firmly against the Israeli occupation, illegal settlement expansion, the siege and bombardment of Gaza and the resulting environmental hazards, which render Palestinians incapable of mitigating the effects of the climate crisis.”
Alex Lee, Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland (they) said:
“The COP28 climate talks must deliver a clear global commitment to a fair and fast transition away from fossil fuels. Rich nations like the UK who have become wealthy from exploiting fossil fuels and polluting the climate should be acting faster as well as supporting lower income countries to move to renewables.”
“In Scotland, Ministers must not undermine the transition by approving new gas fired power in Peterhead when the existing plant is already Scotland’s single biggest climate polluter. This risky plan for an additional station would lock households into paying already sky-high energy bills set by fossil fuel companies for the next 25 years.”
Juliet Dunstone, from the Stop Rosebank campaign said:
“We’ve seen year after year that fossil fuel companies have huge influence at COP, and this year that is even worse as the COP president is the CEO of an oil company. It’s therefore more important than ever that we keep making our voices heard and keep turning up in our numbers to demonstrate that what ordinary people want is an end to fossil fuels.
“We saw huge numbers of people protesting across the UK when the Rosebank oil field got the go ahead, and we’ll be showing in this rally that despite this short sighted decision by the UK government we are still opposing Rosebank with everything we’ve got. We won’t stop protesting until we’ve stopped Rosebank and achieved a just transition for oil and gas workers in Scotland.”
Caitlin Turner, campaigner at Young Sea Changers Scotland said
“In the urgent dialogue to address the climate crisis, we must recognize that nature, and particularly the global ocean, is the bedrock of our planet’s resilience. Our climate conversations and policy decisions must reflect the interconnectedness between a healthy marine environment, a stable climate, and a sustainable future. The global ocean, with its immense capacity to sequester carbon and regulate our climate, is not merely some part of the solution; it is a critical partner in our collective endeavour to safeguard the planet for generations to come.”
Bishop Mark Strange of Moray, Ross and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church said
“As COP28 begins I am called to reflect once again about how we, who live in a wealthy and stable country, can ignore the growing plight of those whose land and economics have suffered so that I can live comfortably. We need to end the pillage of the earth but also share its bounty with those most affected by our actions”. There needs to be real international cooperation so that this wonderful world of ours can be restored and all its people respected.”