Into the second week of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP23) in Bonn Germany the attention turns to world leaders to make declarations on behalf of their countries regarding climate action. The Paris Agreement is two years on and while promises were big, action has remained small.
From moving opening dance ceremony featuring children of the world, to the singing protests that interrupted the USA’s coal event and the #WereStillIn movement of states and city governments overriding Trump, it has been an exciting and heartwarming conference.
But stealing the show from the UK’s perspective was Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP today with a passionate and urgent speech. Pointing out where Scotland beats England Nicola made reference to ambitious policies:
We have recently set an earlier target than the UK for phasing out new diesel and petrol cars
Not only will diesel need to be phased out quickly, but huge investments will be needed in clean energy, and a price on carbon being the key to success according to NGOs and Activists at the event. Reaffirming Scotland’s pledge to keep global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius Nicola promised
To go further and faster together
Whether the SNP is bold enough to go further into the political hot potato of carbon taxing remains unclear. Time is of the essence and she was right to point out that countries should not be making impressive targets for the next two decades – but rather requires urgent action in the next two years. Nicola has raised the bar for the UK, and it will be interesting to see if Teresa May can meet her there with some ambitious policies of her own.
The next few days will be crucial as the fate of humanity and planet Earth is in the hands of these powerful few. Lets hope all world leaders stand side by side with Nicola as the Climate Warriors we need them to be.