Stop Climate Chaos Scotland letter-writing campaign
The Scottish Climate Change Act came into being in 2009, and since then the Scottish Government has done a great deal to promote its world-leading legislation, which includes a 42% reduction in Scotland’s own emissions by 2020, and 80% by 2050. More recently, the Scottish Government has produced an action plan called the ‘Report on Proposals and Policies’ which sets out which policies will be needed for Scotland to be able to achieve these targets.
This next Scottish Budget must reflect Scotland’s climate change ambitions. The Scottish Government is currently putting together the 2012-13 budget as well as a four-year spending review. The Scottish Parliament will then scrutinise the Budget and it will be agreed in February 2012. But this autumn is the key time to influence it, while it’s still in its early stages.
Why it matters
Recently, in its advice to Scottish Ministers, the UK Climate Change Committee stated that: ‘Scottish emissions reduction targets can be met at manageable economic cost... and should be accepted given the costs and consequences of not acting’.
Action in Scotland to reduce our emissions is a vital part of a just response to climate change. Whilst rich countries are responsible for most of the emissions entering the atmosphere it is the poorest communities in the world that are being hit the hardest by the impacts of climate change.
Every day that Scotland continues releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere it is increasing its climate debt to those who have played little or no part in the problem.
People across Scotland will also benefit in many ways from the measures needed to reduce carbon emissions, for example by improved health as a result of cycling and walking more or from homes being warmer through improved energy efficiency. And the Scottish Government anticipates the creation of 60,000 green jobs by 2015.
As a minimum, everything in the Scottish Government’s own action plan must be fully funded in the forthcoming budget. It’s that simple.
How you can help
You can help make this happen by sending a short personal letter or email to your MSPs. This will be most effective if you write in your own words. You can use the information here as a basis for what you write. You should aim to do this before the 30th of September.
Some tips for getting your letter noticed
Letters to politicians usually pass through the filter of their staff first, as they get hundreds of letters a week. So, to make sure yours get noticed, you could:
- Keep it concise (preferably no more than one side of A4) and simple, addressing only one issue at a time.
- Pay attention to presentation - check correct spelling of all names and addresses etc.
- Make sure you get your facts right. We’ve provided some info but please get in touch (contact details below) if you get stuck.
- A politician will notice the volume of letters they get on a subject. Try to write individually rather than as a group, or as well as a group letter.
- Ask specific questions, so that your MSPs are encouraged to respond to your letter. Ask them to get back to you telling you what they’ve done to act on your letter.
- Remember to be friendly and polite.
What to write about - essential information
This is just for your information – don’t forget to put your letter in your own words.
1. Above all, ask your MSPs to write to John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, who has overall responsibility for the Budget. Ask your MSPs to urge him to prioritise climate change actions in the forthcoming budget and, as a minimum, fully fund everything in the Government’s own plans, the Report on Proposals and Policies.
2. Ask your MSP to support our call for a Scottish climate adaptation fund. Scotland has derived huge economic benefits from its emissions of greenhouse gases and its exports of fossil fuels. But that has come at a price to countries more vulnerable than ours to the impact of climate change. A Scottish climate adaptation fund would help redress Scotland’s climate debt by helping some of the poorest countries in the world adapt to the effects of climate change. Please ask your MSPs to give their support to this idea, and to ask John Swinney to publish a consultation paper on it as soon as possible.
Where to send your letter or email
Please send an email directly from your email account or – even better - write a letter and send it in the post.
You can then email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or write to them at: The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP
If you could email us a copy of your letter (to email@example.com), as well as any response you receive from your MSP, that would help us see who has contacted who.
For more information contact the WDM office in Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 243 2730