Scotland and Wales declare climate emergencies

(EurActiv, 30 Apr 2019) The devolved Scottish and Welsh parliaments have separately declared climate emergencies, citing the threats of climate change, just as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is expected to push Westminster to do the same for the whole of the UK.

On Monday (29 April), Welsh Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths announced the government declaration, citing the impact climate change threatens to make on public health, the economy and the natural environment.

“I believe we have the determination and ingenuity in Wales to deliver a low carbon economy at the same time as making our society fairer and healthier,” Griffiths said.

She added that “no nation in the world has yet fully grasped this challenge but just as Wales played a leading role in the first industrial revolution, I believe Wales can provide an example to others of what it means to achieve environmental growth.”

The Welsh announcement followed a move by Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, who made a similar declaration at her party’s conference on Sunday (28 April).

During a speech in Edinburgh, the Scottish independence champion said that young climate activists, who have taken the streets of many of Europe’s cities in recent months, “are right”. Scotland has already banned fracking and committed to going carbon neutral by 2050.

“A few weeks ago, I met some of the young climate change campaigners who’ve gone on strike from school to raise awareness of their cause,” Sturgeon said. “As first minister of Scotland, I am declaring that there is a climate emergency. And Scotland will live up to our responsibility to tackle it.”

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EurActiv, 30 Apr 2019: Scotland and Wales declare climate emergencies