Jim Densham, Senior Land Use Policy Officer with RSPB Scotland, brings us this latest blog on climate change and is challenging everyone who cares about wildlife, nature and the environment to sign this petition from our partners at Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. We are calling for strong climate targets in Scotland from the government and your support will make that message heard. 

Climate change is the greatest long-term threat to our special Scottish wildlife and many species are suffering now from the new climatic trends and weather chaos that it is bringing.  Every week seems to bring a new story of terrible climate impacts on something we love, like the Great Barrier Reef, puffins, or coffee. That’s why we need to act now for our future, and nature’s.

Our understanding of the impacts of climate change, and the severity of the challenges ahead, has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years. The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership has recently published a report card that takes a look at how the science has developed in this field in the last 10 years. The findings make it clear that the impacts of climate change on marine life are complex and intricately linked to other factors, such as those driving the current dramatic declines in our seabird populations.

We now know that warming seas lead to changes in the distribution and abundance of cold-water fish which in turn causes food shortages for seabirds and impacts commercial fisheries, but warmer waters may also offer a more amenable environment for invasive non-native species to become established in. The report card highlights the need to better understand the impacts climate change will have on human health, society and the economy but offers a glimmer of hope by stating that appropriate and ongoing adaptation measures can make a difference.

A new Climate Change Bill will go through the Holyrood Parliament in the autumn with an aim to change climate targets. We believe that what Government is currently proposing is disappointing and not ambitious enough. To seek greater effort and long lasting action we are joining with our partners in Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, in the Act for Our Future campaign. We are calling for Scotland to have a new target to produce zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by the latest. This is an ambitious target but is what is needed if Scotland is to do its share in limiting climate change to safe levels.

The new Act of Parliament also needs to set in stone commitments to insulate homes, decarbonise transport and make sure farming is climate-friendly. As well as cutting emissions these new efforts could mean warm homes for all, better health, cleaner city air, and great food grown in a wildlife-rich countryside. We know that climate action can be good for nature, people and the economy. For example, we are part of a huge effort to restore Scotland’s vast blanket bog habitats so that the carbon stored in the soils is not lost to the atmosphere and allowed to harm the climate. This restoration activity restores the bog habitat and allows species such as curlew and hen harrier to thrive. It also brings jobs to remote areas and improves the quality of rivers and drinking water.

We are asking you to be part of the campaign to call for the climate targets and action that people and nature need. It’s easy to do now by clicking the link below and signing the letter to the First Minister here. Let’s Act for Our Future, and nature’s.