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Marching in solidarity

18 September 2019

Climate Action

Ahead of Friday’s Climate Change Day of Action SCIAF’s Campaigns Officer Thomas Mulvey explores why Climate Change is ultimately a question of justice.

This Friday we’ll be joining the young people who have taken to the streets as part of a climate change day of action.

At SCIAF, we campaign against climate change in Scotland because we see the devastating impact it’s already having in some of the poorest communities in the world, the very communities who’ve done least to cause the problem.

Since our foundation in 1965, millions of people have benefitted from our work and the generosity of our supporters. Thousands of families have been lifted out of poverty, but much of the progress which has been made alleviating global poverty is now at risk of being undone by the drastically changing climate.

When we hear about climate change in Scotland its impacts can seem distant, the consequences a lifetime away, but there is a dreadful human cost that people are facing today. Zambian farmers can no longer rely on the rains for their crops so face starvation. Rising tides bring the threat of deadly flooding to Cambodian fishing communities. In Indonesia typhoon’s and tsunami’s brought forth by extreme weather devastate villages and cost whole families their lives.  

Our partners and all the people we work with are clear, climate change is impacting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, and it’s the issue they want us to tackle above all others, here in Scotland.

And that is because our financial, practical and spiritual support can only do so much to help people while a key structural issue like climate change goes unanswered. Without urgent action to end our greenhouse gas emission production here in Scotland and in across the richest nations, the impact of the changing climate will push millions of already vulnerable people into deeper poverty.

Coalfields like those in Lanarkshire powered an Empire and ships crafted on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow roamed every Ocean. Britain was the home of the industrial revolution and to this day, we still produce more than our fair share of climate changing greenhouse gas emissions. Countries on the front line of the climate crisis such as Zambia and Malawi, where SCIAF work to help the survivors of Cyclone Idai, have contributed comparatively little to the crisis historically and presently.

This is why at its heart, climate change is not only an issue for scientists and policy makers, it’s a justice issue for us all. It is an injustice that those who suffer the most because of climate change had the least to do with causing it.

The young people who have been prepared to give up their education to highlight the climate crisis and the need for urgent Government action, have inspired us with their civic engagement. Please join us on Friday and stand in solidarity with all those who are already affected by climate change.