Climate Change in Election Year

Posted by chdot on February 1, 2007

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its long-anticipated ‘Fourth Assessment Report’ tomorrow. This is expected to provide the most compelling evidence yet of the human cause of climate change and its devastating impacts.

TRANSform Scotland, the “national sustainable transport alliance”, is calling for all Scottish political parties to state (in their election manifestos) what they would do to “make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from the Scottish transport sector”.

TRANSform Scotland points out that transport is one of the main contributors to climate change. It says “despite widespread agreement on the need to take decisive action on this issue, there is little evidence that the Scottish transport sector is taking measures to reduce emissions: car use and road freight levels continue to increase, air travel growth is uncontrolled, while vehicle efficiency is failing to make significant improvement”.

TRANSform’s Director, Colin Howden, says “The Scottish Executive has fallen far short on the action needed to reduce transport’s impact on the environment. From throwing subsidies at airline companies to bulldozing through new motorways, their performance remains poor. Even more disturbingly, the Executive’s agenda has faced little or no effective scrutiny in the Scottish Parliament – with the major opposition parties, the SNP and the Tories, advocating an even more irresponsible set of policies.”

Never one to mince his words, Colin continues, “In light of the IPCC’s damning conclusions, urgent action is needed in the Scottish transport sector in order to reduce its emissions. Unfortunately, there is so far little evidence that the Scottish political class have the gumption to take up this challenge. It will be interesting to see whether any of the major Scottish political parties are prepared to set out in their election manifestos credible programmes for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport. So far, all they seem capable of is pandering to greedy and unsustainable demands for cheaper travel and more roads and airports.”

There seems to be increasing evidence that everyone in the world will be affected by Climate Change, most likely in an adverse way. Compared with having to move house because of rising sea levels, driving and flying less can’t really be seen as a ‘hardship’.

Most people (perhaps understandably) are waiting for politicians and governments to set a good example, it remains to be seen if any of the political parties in the Holyrood and local council elections will come up with useful suggestions or meaningful pledges. Politicians seem to believe (perhaps understandably) that people (voters) want to drive where they choose and have cheap foreign holidays…

Cars Make Me An Awful Human Being

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