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A roadmap for fairer and greener post-covid-19 recovery

Ahead of the elections in May, we have today launched our roadmap to urge Scottish party leaders to take the lead for a more human and environmentally aware approach to a post-COVID-19 recovery.

We’re urging all parties to take heed of the drastically different world in which we now live due to the pandemic and use their political clout to help address the inequalities that exist between the rich and poor as a result of unfair economic models, climate change and now also the coronavirus.

Worldwide, the coronavirus crisis has pushed 500 million more people into poverty. It has hit the poorest and most marginalised hardest and risks undoing decades of progress. Meanwhile, the climate emergency continues to worsen, wreaking havoc on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities, forcing mass displacement and destroying their ability to build stable, healthy futures.

We see first-hand the huge impact climate change is having on some of the world’s poorest people with whom it works.  Many families depend on farming to survive but struggle to grow enough food to feed themselves.  The once predictable rains are erratic and may not come at all, while more frequent and severe storms, droughts or floods can wipe out their homes and harvests overnight.  

With COP26 coming to Glasgow, all eyes will be on Scotland and the UK. We believe the Scottish and UK governments must seize the opportunity to step up their efforts to tackle the devastating effects of climate change by prioritising a just and green post-COVID-19 recovery.

Our priorities include meeting Scotland’s target of a 75% cut in emissions by 2030, building on the success of the world’s first Climate Justice Fund by aligning it with global best practice and maintaining funding for the International Development Fund.

We would also like to see the establishing of a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development (Scotland) Bill which would make it a statutory requirement for public bodies and local authorities in Scotland to think about the short and long-term impact of their decisions, both in Scotland and elsewhere. This would ensure that Scotland not only contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals and our climate commitments but also does not undermine them.

Right now all of Scotland’s political parties are in the process of writing the manifestoes that will set the agenda for the next five years. Many of the choices we make today to rebuild our economy in Scotland will affect millions of people around the globe in one way or another. This election will define the kind of global neighbour we want to be. 

The coronavirus crisis has been tough for us but it gives us a chance to press the reset button on our broken world and to build back more justly by putting the health and wellbeing of people and the planet at the heart of all decision making. This is our chance to put the wrongs, right and build a more sustainable future for all.