Lecturers demonstrate as MSPs pass climate bill

University lecturers were among climate change protestors outside the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday as MSPs passed the Climate Change Bill.

Protestors read aloud the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report on the impact of global warming above 1.5 degrees.

The Bill, which sets the target for Scotland’s emissions to be net-zero by 2045, was later passed by MSPs with an amendment setting the interim target of a 75 percent emissions reductions by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

The amendment was tabled by Labour MSP Claudia Beamish with Labour and Liberal Democrat support and was accepted by the government.

The Green Party also tabled an amendment to set the interim target at 80 percent but this was rejected.

Speaking to The Student at the protest, a university lecturer teaching on a masters programme in biodiversity, wildlife and ecosystem health said: “I think it’s really important that we make a message to politicians that the climate change act needs to be stronger.

“I think that the protests that we’ve seen recently do seem to be having an effect.

“Certainly they’re changing the dialogue so I think it’s worth it.”

Also speaking to The Student, Edinburgh Councillor Claire Miller said: “I thought I would come down at lunch time just to add a bit of extra voice to this.

“I feel that if we don’t get a really strong climate bill through the parliament then it makes it much harder for green politicians in councils to push our plans to be bolder and to actually tackle climate targets in the timescales that we need to.

“The fact that the government might be voting for the Labour amendment which pushes the climate bill to be a bit stronger, I think is as a result of the fact that we’ve got protests like this taking place and it’s so clear that there’s science behind it and that there’s people out in force asking for change.

“I think that it’s really important that we start to make changes on things that are possible to change as soon as possible.

“I feel that we get trapped into talking about strategies and long term visons and so on, which are all good, but we have to be making change as soon as possible and I’m worried that we’re not quickly acting.”


Image: Craig Buchan

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The Student Newspaper 2016