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Action needed now to tackle the climate emergency

An image of a flooded field
"The climate emergency requires action from us all. This report aims to continue to build the momentum around Scotland’s approach to meeting this crisis and as we welcome a global audience to COP26."

As the eyes of the world turn to Glasgow for the upcoming COP26, the James Hutton Institute has supported the recommendations issued by the Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG) in a report launched today, which outlines a series of key actions the Scottish Government must take now to accelerate their response to the climate emergency.

The report comes just weeks after the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which made the gravity of the situation demonstrably clear: failure to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees will lead to more extreme heatwaves, droughts, and flooding. 

The 12 key actions outlined in the report describe the practical, workable priorities needed in this vital year of COP26 to reduce emissions, create new industries and permanent jobs, clean air, and healthy communities, while tackling inequality. Scotland’s first citizen’s assembly focused on climate change, Scotland’s Climate Assembly, recently issued its latest report which shows a strong public appetite for bold, transformative actions.

The 12 immediate actions, many of which coincide with areas of research at the James Hutton Institute, are:

  • Transform four Scottish cities with a whole community approach to net-zero  
  • Make greener non-domestic buildings in which to work, study and relax 
  • Upskill the workforce to create Scotland’s net-zero and climate adapted future
  • Mobilise public sector expenditure to address the climate emergency
  • Unite central and local government to deliver on net-zero and create resilient places
  • Green Scotland’s City Region and Growth Deals
  • Make the climate emergency a guiding principle in all planning decisions  
  • Solve real and specific financing challenges to secure private sector investment
  • Incentivise climate and nature friendly farming now
  • Drive adoption of sustainable, healthy, climate-friendly diets
  • Maximise natural solutions to mitigate and adapt to the climate emergency on land and at sea, and
  • Bring all citizens to the heart of decisions about how we respond to the climate emergency.

Mike Thornton, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, a member of CERG, commented: “The clock is ticking. We must act now as the climate emergency is upon us and swift action is required from the Scottish Government to decisively change the trajectory of global carbon emissions and keep the rise in temperatures, as stated in the Paris Agreement, below 2.0 degrees, and ideally to 1.5 degrees. We have a narrow window of opportunity to act. The CERG report provides 12 actions that can and will make a difference on the ground over the next 12 months.”

Professor Bob Ferrier, Director of Scotland's Centre of Expertise for Waters, based at the James Hutton Institute, added: "The climate emergency requires action from us all. This report aims to continue to build the momentum around Scotland’s approach to meeting this crisis and as we welcome a global audience to COP26."

For further details, read CERG's press release or download the full report. To learn more about the work of Hutton scientists to tackle the climate emergency, read our news story: Hutton researchers committed to tackling the climate crisis.

CERG is a group of like-minded leaders spanning Scotland’s private, public and third sectors, delivery organisations, and membership bodies, and it hopes its recommendations will help to inform the Scottish Government’s upcoming Programme for Government, which sets out the actions to be taken in the coming year and the legislative programme for the next parliamentary year.

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

Printed from /news/action-needed-now-tackle-climate-emergency on 24/02/24 01:11:39 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.