Leaving decisions about the transition to a net-zero carbon economy to the vagaries of the market will not work, so an interventionist role by governments is an absolute necessity, writes Richard Leonard. The Extinction Rebellion movement serves as a timely reminder that protest is power, that non-violent direct action is an important part of the democratic process and that the climate emergency is the most pressing issue of our time and requires urgent action. Campaigners who camped outside the Scottish Parliament, in the week that the Climate Change Bill was being debated, are calling on a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2025. This is hugely ambitious but when we are talking about the future of our planet we should, of course, be ambitious and we should be impatient as well. Humanity’s impact on the planet has taken centuries to be understood and reversing the damage done will take time to put right. That is why Scottish Labour has supported the target set by the Committee on Climate Change of net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 which we believe is an ambitious, but realistic, timetable to meet. If we can meet it earlier, we should. Beyond that, across the UK, Labour is calling for a Green Industrial Revolution which means a plan for industry to put the environment at the heart of our economy. It cannot be jobs or the environment, it must be both or neither.
Scotsman 2nd July 2019 read more »