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Greens to call on Scottish Government to declare a ‘climate emergency’

Mark Ruskell.
Mark Ruskell.

The Scottish Green party will urge the Scottish Parliament to declare a “climate emergency” in a debate at Holyrood.

The party will call on parliament to back the goal to limit global warning to 1.5C, to bring in a legislative ban on fracking and to realise a policy of maximum economic recovery of oil and gas is “incompatible with addressing the climate emergency”.

Scottish Green Environment and Climate spokesman Mark Ruskell, who will lead the debate, will also ask the parliament to support the 1.4 million young people worldwide staging school strikes to highlight climate change.

Mr Ruskell will argue that parliament has a “moral duty” to act in the interest of future generations and countries on the frontline of climate change.

He said: “Young people in Scotland and across the world have been an inspiration, walking out of classes to highlight the threat posed by the climate emergency, and urging governments to take the bold action required to address it.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has given us a decade to bring emissions down to a level where we can keep global temperature rises below 1.5 degrees.

“To miss that objective would be to condemn millions to misery and bring the widespread collapse of our natural world.

“This is a climate emergency.

“If we are serious about tackling this crisis head on, there needs to be an acknowledgement that maximum economic extraction of oil and gas cannot happen.

“We can’t burn all the reserves we already know about, and we should not kid ourselves on that further exploration is a responsible option.”

Mr Ruskell said anti-fracking campaigners will be “frustrated” at the delay of a final decision on fracking from the Scottish Government.

It recently announced plans for a third public consultation on fracking, having previously said it would make its final decision to parliament before April 2019.

Mr Ruskell said: “QC legal advice is clear that Scotland has the powers to implement a legally watertight ban on this destructive and unsustainable process and the Government should get on with doing that.

“Greens will give MSPs the chance to back that call in parliament today.