Stop Climate Chaos

Key messages for the Scottish Wave

What’s all this about?

From 7–18th December 2009, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference, to agree global targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (replacing the previous targets set by the Kyoto Protocol). This is seen by many to be the last chance we have to get the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions under control and prevent dangerous climate change and the catastrophic consequences for people and nature worldwide.

Scotland now has its own Climate Change Act, which became law in August 2009. This is the strongest climate legislation in the world, and commits Scotland to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. More information about the Act can be downloaded at

This legislation is a great success for the thousands of supporters of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland organisations who campaigned for a strong Scottish Climate Change Bill. But our work doesn’t stop there – our task now is to convince other rich countries to adopt similar cuts to their emissions to get global emissions under control. As part of a number of similar demonstrations of its kind around the world on the same day, The Wave will send a strong signal from Scotland that we would like other countries to follow our lead.

The event aims to demonstrate mass, public pressure on the UK Government, calling on it to show effective international leadership at the December negotiations. Specifically, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland wants the UK government to:

Share Scotland’s ambition

Earlier this year, the Scottish Parliament passed the most progressive climate change legislation in the world. Amongst other things, the Act contains: an interim target that commits Scotland to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 42% on 1990 levels by 2020; the inclusion of international aviation and shipping in emissions figures; and a target that ensures at least 80% of each year’s emissions reductions are real reductions from sources in Scotland.

The most recent scientific evidence shows that the targets in the Scottish Climate Change Act are the minimum needed to prevent dangerous climate change. A full summary of the Scottish Act can be read here:

This world-leading Act sets vital international precedents and is an example that other wealthy nations must follow. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland wants to see the UK government ensure that developed nations commit to at least the same ambition as Scotland.

Protect the poorest

The world’s poorest and most vulnerable are already suffering the impacts of climate change. They are being hit first and worst because of emissions produced by rich countries, including the UK. Many people in some of the poorest parts of the world are unable to grow enough food to feed their families or cannot earn a living, as a direct result of more severe and unpredictable weather patterns caused by climate change. It is estimated that 300,000 people are already dying every year as a result of climate change impacts.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland calls on the UK Government to provide our fair share of the resources needed, on top of existing aid commitments and funds from the carbon markets, to help people in poor countries adapt to climate change and establish low carbon energy sources. This means ensuring that the EU commits to delivering at least 35 Bn EUR per year in new and additional public financing from 2012 which is vital if developing nations are to be protected from the devastating impacts of climate change caused by others.

Act fair and fast

The UK is historically one of the countries most responsible for climate change. Even today, Japan, Europe and the US pump out over 40 per cent of global CO2 emissions. It is only fair that rich countries like the UK act first and fastest to cut their emissions.

Making deep cuts in our emissions straight away reflects our historical responsibility for climate change. It also ensures that poorer countries are able to develop their economies and tackle poverty without being adversely and unfairly restricted by emissions reductions targets.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland calls on the UK Government to push urgently for a fair global deal in Copenhagen which limits global warming to under 2 degrees C. The UK must commit to reducing its carbon emissions by at least 42% by 2020 through domestic action, and call on other rich countries to do the same.

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