MSP meets climate change campaigners

MSP Graeme Dey signs a pledge at the event. (Photograph: MAVERICK PHOTO AGENCY)
MSP Graeme Dey signs a pledge at the event. (Photograph: MAVERICK PHOTO AGENCY)

Angus South MSP Graeme Dey met with his Kirriemuir constituent Lesley Benzie and other north east campaigners at the Scottish Parliament last week, to listen to their calls for swift action to address climate change.

MSPs met with people from all over Scotland who had gathered at the Parliament for a unique mass lobby event, organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition (SCCS), on Thursday, September 29.

A total of 51 MSPs took part in the lobby, with nearly 100 constituents attending the event from as far away as Dingwall, Dumfries and Aberdeen.

The aim of the event was to allow MSPs to learn more about the climate issues that people living in their area are most concerned about. It also gave individuals the opportunity to urge MSPs to ensure the Scottish Government do more to improve energy efficiency of homes and buildings, continue to invest in renewable energy and low carbon transport, and work to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Scottish Government is due to publish a Climate Plan early next year, setting out their actions to tackle climate change. This is expected to be followed by proposals for a new Climate Change Bill.

The mass lobby event was part of a large movement of individuals and organisations in Scotland demanding that government and MSPs make the changes needed to deliver a positive and lasting difference for the climate.

On the same day as the lobby, all five of Scotland’s main political party leaders, SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon; Patrick Harvie of the Green Party; Labour’s Kezia Dugdale; Willie Rennie of the LibDems; and the Conservative’s Ruth Davidson, came together at Holyrood to show their backing for positive action on climate change.

Speaking after the mass lobby at the Scottish Parliament, Graeme Dey MSP whose is Convener of Holyrood’s Environment Climate Change and Land Reform Committee said: “It was good to hear the thoughts of Lesley and others and to have the chance to outline to them just how serious the Parliament is about building upon Scotland’s success thus far is cuttings its carbon emissions.

“No-one underestimates the scale of the challenge Scotland faces in achieving its future Climate Change ambitions which, in the wake of the Paris Agreement, are going to have to be revised upwards.

“However, I look forward to working constructively with the Scottish Government, committee colleagues from across the political spectrum and stakeholders to deliver measures which ensure this country continues to be at the forefront of global efforts to tackle Climate Change.”

Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “This is a really important time for MSPs to listen to the concerns of their constituents and learn about the climate issues that matter to them. With the new Climate Plan being published in the months ahead, the Scottish Government are being urged to deliver better energy efficiency in homes, more investment in renewable energy, cleaner transport and reduced greenhouse gas emissions from farming. It’s great to see that Graeme Dey has taken the time to meet with people from his constituency and beyond about these issues and is helping to further Scotland’s journey towards being a low carbon country.”