People from around the world are urging Scotland to remain a global climate leader as the Government finalises their new Climate Change Bill. 100 individuals, including many directly impacted by climate change and those working to help tackle climate change, have taken photos with signs urging Scotland to “Give it 100%” in our efforts to cut emissions. Contributions include impassioned pleas from farmers in Africa, vulnerable communities in Asia, indigenous Arctic groups and Pacific Islanders.
The images and testimonies have been collected by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. We received submissions from every inhabited continent backing their calls for Scotland to end climate pollution by 2050 at the latest.
The stories highlight how climate change is already impacting on livelihoods and the need for countries in leadership positions such as Scotland to show the required ambition to meet the Paris Climate Agreement. Many of those taking part give specific support for the call for a net zero emissions target by 2050 at the latest.
Stella Miria-Robinson (above), Papua New Guinean Australian, Roving Ambassador for the Pacific Islands Council of Queensland,
“We stand to lose our homes, lose our countries, lose our identities as distinct Peoples of the Planet, lose our cultures, languages and familiar places. We do not want to be passport holders of countries that have disappeared. What happens in Europe, the US, China and Australia, for example, affects what happens climatically, in our Pacific Ocean. I hope Scotland, The Brave, will help to lead the way, through its commitment to a net zero carbon strategy and soon.”
Mork Nay & Veit Samin with their daughter (pictured above), farmers in Cambodia. Mork Nay told us:
“In the past the weather was stable between the dry and rainy seasons. Now we can’t predict it. Now it’s raining in the dry season and dry in the rainy season. When we lose our crops our income decreases and we lose our resources. In the past we know when the rain would come – and it would rain for a few days. Now it comes and is very strong."
"I’m really concerned that climate change is getting worse and I don’t know what to do to cope with it. I’m not sure about the future. Now I don’t see a choice for our children but to farm, but I am concerned. I would like Scotland to continue helping us to cope with climate change. I would like to request developed countries like Scotland, who have big factories that produce a lot of pollution to stop polluting. Frankly, it’s not just developed countries but we all need to stop pollution because many people in the world are responsible.”
Gertrude Hamooya (left) is a small scale farmer in Zambia. She cultivates mainly maize and groundnuts but also keeps free range chickens. When asked why she thought Scotland should ‘give it 100%’, Gertrude said:
“Our lives have become harder as farmers due to climate change. The dry spell we experienced at the beginning of this season meant that our crops could not make it even when the rains finally came, because they the rains did come, they were too heavy such that even a few plants that could have made it were destroyed by the floods. Most of us won’t even harvest anything this year because of the rains coming at the wrong time of the year
The heavy rains have also destroyed the few roads we have in the area making it extremely difficult for us to transport anything or even to go the hospitals.”
"I think richer countries should also help sensitise us on the disadvantages of charcoal burning and also help train us in other businesses as a way of survival. They should also help us financially because they’re also contributing to climate change because of their industries.”
Sarah James (below), from the Alaskan Arctic:
“My name is Sarah James from Arctic Village in Alaska 110 miles north east of Arctic Circle. We’re a caribou people, for over 20,000 years we have lived with Caribou. We take care of their feeding ground - caribou heart is in our heart and our heart is in the caribou. My people's way of life is under threat. Climate change is a human rights issue.
I'd like to see Scotland take a lead on the environment because the indigenous people of the world we live in the land, we take care of the land and it takes care of us in return. We need to help each other to survive. It's up to all of us to play our part to tackle climate change. It's not a chore, it's a responsibility.”
Over the coming weeks Stop Climate Chaos Scotland will reveal all 100 Voices from across the world, calling for an ambitious new climate law from Scotland. Keep track by following our Twitter feed @SCCScot
or by checking back on this web page.
Gertrude Hamooya by Bellah Zulu
Sarah James by Rod Downey/WWF