Preparing for the changes ahead

The international scientific community is clear. We need to make radical changes over the next ten years if we want to avoid disastrous climate change impacts on people and nature.

The Scottish Government has pledged to drastically reduce climate change causing greenhouse gas emissions from Scotland and to focus the post-Covid-19 economic recovery on a transition to a low carbon future. Scotland aims to stop contributing to climate change within a generation by reaching net-zero emissions of greenhouses gases by 2045. These changes will have a massive impact on everyone in Scotland; from the jobs we do and the food we eat to the way we travel and the design of our towns and cities.

Net-zero means the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere from our activities (transport, industry, domestic energy, food, waste etc) will balance with the amount absorbed by 'sinks' such as well managed peatland, forests and new technology such as carbon capture and storage.

We need everyone in Scotland to get behind the transition to net-zero if we’re going to achieve this ambitious target. That means that everyone needs to understand the urgent need for action and know how they can play their part. We also know that we can only make these changes well if we listen to the hopes, anxieties and ideas of Scotland's people. That means listening to people of all backgrounds and in every corner of Scotland.

With the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference coming to Glasgow in November this year, interest in climate action is higher than ever before. We need to amplify that interest across the country and ensure there is a positive legacy from COP26 in our communities – whatever the result of the negotiations.

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