The huge and vital challenge of tackling the joint nature and climate emergencies means our natural world needs allies like never before. Today, we’re celebrating the commitment made by Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) to Stand Up for Nature.
Fifty-two MSPs from across the political parties, many of whom are also species champions, have signed the pledge launched by Scottish Environment LINK to work for the protection, recovery and enhancement of Scotland’s natural environment.
The Stand Up for Nature pledge
The joint emergencies of rapid biodiversity loss and climate breakdown require transformative action. As a member of the Scottish Parliament, I pledge to stand up for nature.
I will do everything in my power to ensure Scotland’s natural environment has strong and effective protection, alongside ambitious targets for its recovery and enhancement. When 1 in 11 species in Scotland is at risk of extinction, these measures are vital, whatever our future relationship with the European Union.”
This year has seen a massive surge in popular pressure on governments around the world to act to prevent climate catastrophe, and a growing awareness that halting and reversing biodiversity loss is a priority of a similar order. This is true in Scotland as elsewhere: the latest State of Nature report, released in October, shows that Scotland’s wildlife is in alarming decline, with 11 per cent of species found in Scotland threatened with extinction from Great Britain.
2020 will be a critical year for tackling the nature emergency, and the need for politicians to stand up for our environment will be greater than ever. Brexit looks set to continue dominating the UK’s political agenda, and safeguarding Scotland’s environmental protections in the face of a possible exit from the European Union is essential. Scotland’s leading environmental charities are calling through the Fight for Scotland’s Nature campaign for legislation to embed key EU environmental principles in Scots law and to set up an independent watchdog to enforce environmental protections. The campaign also calls for clear and binding targets for nature recovery.
Next year will see two United Nations summits which could shape our response to the nature and climate emergencies in the crucial decade to come. Scotland has a major role to play in both of these: Edinburgh will host an international conference in the spring ahead of the UN biodiversity summit in China in the autumn, and Glasgow has been chosen as the venue for the UN climate summit towards the end of the year.
With the future of the planet and its human and non-human inhabitants in the balance, now is the time for nature’s allies to live up to their promise.
MSPs can sign the pledge by emailing Miriam Ross on firstname.lastname@example.org.