Thousands of people from across Scotland will brighten the streets of Edinburgh today, demanding that the Scottish and UK Governments push for real action to prevent dangerous climate change.
Scotland’s Climate March has been organised by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland – the country’s biggest-ever campaign coalition – and is part of a global campaign for action in advance of crucial United Nations climate talks in Paris.
People across the world will be demanding that politicians at the UN climate change conference agree strong plans to cut carbon emissions and properly support countries in the developing world who are suffering most from catastrophic climate change.
Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “We’re proud that so many people in Scotland are coming together to show they care about the fate of others across the world and that they want to protect the planet that we all rely on. It’s an uplifting message of solidarity that must now be matched by our politicians.
“We need Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron to use their influence to push for the strongest and most ambitious deal possible at Paris. Scotland and the UK as a whole benefited massively from the era of fossil fuels – now we need to take our fair share of responsibility for the world’s growing climate crisis.
“It is essential that whatever is agreed in Paris is turned into real action on the ground and that we see significant policy changes in Scotland and in other countries in the months and years ahead.”
Scotland’s Climate March promises to be colourful and diverse, bringing together concerned citizens and members of a wide variety of organisations – including student and trade unions, international development and environment organisations, community groups, and faith groups.
Marchers will wear bright colours and will unite around the slogan – ‘Climate, Justice and Jobs’.
Ruby, a 12 year old who campaigns on climate change and will speak at the rally, said: “I’m excited to be going on Scotland’s Climate March. There’s so much we can do over climate change – we just need to do it now. I don’t think it is fair that other people are suffering from our mistakes. Young people need to be heard and involved. We want our leaders to act in Paris.”
Dave Watson of Unison Scotland said: “Our children’s future depends on creating a low-carbon economy based on a fair distribution of wealth, locally and globally, with decent jobs and public services for all. We must act now on all these issues, before it is too late.”
Marchers will also hear from Voltaire Alferez, immediate past National Coordinator of Aksyon Klima Pilipinas – a climate change campaign group from the Philippines which works with Christian Aid Scotland.
Voltaire Alferez said: “In the Philippines, we no longer debate or deny the impacts of climate change because we experience them every year.
“Particularly, our country saw the impact of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 which killed more than 6,000 people, separated families and communities, and, devastated livelihoods. Nevertheless, our countrymen with our government, continue to strive to rise above the devastation. We are also very grateful to the governments and their people, especially the people in Scotland, who donated money to help us in our time of need.
“But we cannot carry on under this kind of new normal. Hence, we demand fair and ambitious action from the leaders of the world, particularly from those historically responsible, to reduce carbon emissions and sufficiently support vulnerable countries.”
Marchers will gather at The Meadows in Edinburgh at 12noon, before heading to the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens for a rally compered by comedian and actor Hardeep Singh Kohli, and featuring live music from band Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5.
Hardeep Singh Kohli said: “Climate change is the single most challenging issue for the world. Economics, politics, prosperity are useless if we no longer have a planet upon which to enjoy them.”