It’s impossible to know what it will be, but there will be something. It could be a massive storm, a devastating flood or a lethal heatwave. There will be disturbing images too: drowning children, collapsing ice cliffs or staggering and starving polar bears perhaps. And, of course, there will be the deniers saying it’s all a myth. In one way or another climate change will feature big in 2018. Each time an unusually destructive weather event hits, the arguments will run. Is carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels to blame, and what should we do about it? The battle lines have already been drawn. The Scottish Government is currently committed to reducing carbon emissions 90 per cent by 2050, but campaigners want the target to be zero, and by 2040. They argue this is essential if Scotland wants to live up to the 2015 international Paris Agreement to tackle climate change. “Doing our fair share under the Paris deal would mean we reduce emissions to zero by 2040, along with a 77 per cent cut by 2030,” said Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland. The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has yet to commit herself. She has promised that her government would be “coming to an early decision on when we will aim to reach net zero emissions”. The debates in 2018 will be over what the date should be.
Sunday Herald 31st Dec 2017 read more »