Greta Thunberg on whether Scotland is ‘world leader on climate’
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Also known as COP26, the 26th UN Climate Change conference is scheduled to be held in the city from November 1-12. During an interview with BBC Scotland, 18-year-old Swedish activist Ms Thunberg recognised some countries “do a bit more than others” but that none in the “global north” were coming close to what is actually required. The Scottish Government had insisted its climate change legislation, which includes a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2045, is “world-leading”.
However when asked if Scotland is a world leader on climate change, Ms Thunberg replied: “No, of course, there are countries…there are some who do a bit more than certain others.
“But then again, if we look at it in a broader perspective, I think we can safely say there are no countries at least in the global north that are doing nearly even close to what would be needed.”
Ministers have admitted countries around the world need to do more on climate change, while the Scottish Greens, who are entering a new pact with the SNP, acknowledge systemic change is necessary.
On the Green’s deal to enter government, Ms Thunberg said some politicians were “less worse” than others.
However, the young activist insisted tackling climate change was not as easy as voting for a green party.
The 18-year-old said: “Of course there might be some politicians that are slightly less worse than others. That was very mean but you get the point.
“It’s a hopeful sign that people want something that’s more ‘green’ – whatever green means – but in order to solve this we need to tackle this at a more systemic approach.”
Ms Thunberg was also asked about plans for the proposed Cambo oil field, located 75 miles to the west of the Shetland Islands.
She replied: “The think that summarised the whole situation that we are in, the fact that these kinds of countries that are actually hosting the COP are planning to actually expand fossil fuel infrastructure, to open up new oil fields and so on.
“But also it is a bit strange that we are talking about a single individual oil field.
“It’s not just that we need to stop future expansions, we also need to scale down the existing ones if we are to have a chance of avoiding the worst consequences.”
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have backed the comments from Ms Thunberg that Scotland is not a world leader on climate change.
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They also lashed out at the SNP Government, accusing it of “consistently” missing Scotland’s emissions targets as they are “more concerned about agitating over another referendum than the climate crisis”.
Scottish Liberal Democrat climate emergency spokesperson Liam McArthur said: “The world’s most famous environmental activist has a point.
“This SNP government has consistently missed Scotland’s emissions targets and seems more concerned about agitating over another referendum than the climate crisis.
“To show that they’re serious, the Scottish Government needs to end their support for Heathrow expansion, deliver massive investment in renewables and put in place a plan for insulating hundreds of thousands of homes every year. We need a green and environmentally sound thread running through everything we do.”
But the article from the BBC with the headline ‘Greta Thunberg: Scotland ‘not a world leader on climate change’ has infuriated the SNP and nationalists as a whole.
SNP MP Angus MacNeil retweeted the BBC article, and wrote: “BBC Scotland News is ‘Not a world leader of reflecting truth in headlines’.
One Scottish nationalist also took to Twitter to launch a furious attack against Ms Thunberg.
He retweeted the BBC article, and wrote: “It’s also telling that she’s blaming Scotland for opening up new oil fields, showing a lack of understanding of the position Scotland is in, within the Union and its limited climate powers.”
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