Is the climate crisis a breach of human rights? We might be about to find out after three UK students decided to take the government to court over it.
They argue that their rights to life have been breached because of an inadequate roadmap to solve the emergency.
Adetola Stephanie Onamade, Marina Tricks and Jerry Amokwandoh, all students in their early 20s, backed by the charity Plan B, plan yto ask for a Judicial Review of the UK government’s existing plan to cut emissions.
Government officials have responded to say that the claim is “pointless” given their various schemes claiming to be tackling the crisis.
But this is definitely one to watch.
The students find themselves in impressive company.
Eleven Nobel laureates and 18 other distinguished scientists and experts issued a call for all countries to “reinvent our relationship with planet Earth”
“Humanity is taking colossal risks with our common future,” said Nobel laureate and vice chancellor of the Australian National University Brian Schmidt who coordinated the action.
You can read more about it at Forbes here.
It’s a confusing narrative, for sure.
“On the one hand, we’re saying we want carbon neutrality by 2050… but we’re still subsidising fossil fuels,” said EIT Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten Dunlop.
She was speaking on a panel of leading scientists, policymakers and entrepreneurship experts on a recent Euronews livestream to coincide with the European State of the Climate report being published.
“It’s not just a question of ‘how do we substitute high carbon-emitting ways of living?’ It’s a question of changing the way we’re living to change our demand for high carbon-emitting practices and to look at ‘how do we regenerate?’” she added.
Watch it in full here:
Her warnings are timely.
A report in The Guardian highlights the UN’s World Meteorological Organization summation that there was a “relentless” intensification of the climate crisis in 2020.
Last year was ranked as the hottest on record, in a tie with 2016 and 2019, despite the cooling effect of the cyclical natural climate phenomenon, La Niña. Without this, 2020 would most likely have been the hottest year yet. The decade 2011-20 was the hottest on record, it says.
The message continues to be hammered home, we all have a part to play.
So why then does it remain such a blinkered issue for Scotland’s farming leaders.
NFU Scotland vice president, Andrew Connan argues in The Scotsman that if Scottish agriculture is to be part of the solution to climate change, there needs to be a “re-defined approach to woodland expansion and forestry on agricultural land”.
He claims a “current fixation with planting trees” was “naïve at best” in remarks which suggest there is still a long way to go between how farming and conservation can make the climate journey together.
In an expanded piece for The Scottish Farmer, he says they recognised: “that tree planting, in the right place, has a key role to play in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises.”
But he adds: “NFU Scotland remains opposed to whole farm afforestation of a commercial scale.”
Meantime efforts to see Scotland’s Flow Country recognised by Unesco have taken a new twist, with suggestions that Caithness and Sutherland could in fact be a part of the COP26 conference as part of efforts to push for the status.
Climate tipping points may already have been reached in some areas, is the terrifying assessment from experts featured in this CBS news report. This extended read makes for sober reflection.
Satellites have revealed new evidence of ocean currents getting stronger with what are described as potentially “significant” implication for climate change. The Mandarin reports on research by the Nature Climate Change journal which described how waters are getting more “energetic”.
“The urgency of the climate crisis demands that we consider the rights of future generations, as our action or inaction will determine the legacy that we bequeath them”, writes Philipa Duthie, RSA Oceania director who explores some of the lessons we can learn from indigenous cultures and new moves to deliver intergenerational justice in this blog.
But if none of this makes a difference, maybe money talks loudest. Swiss Re Group report how the world economy is on course to lose 18% of GGP by 2050 is no action is taken on climate change.
Perhaps in the end, it is the threat to profits that may focus minds
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World. Not everyone likes her, but we do, so get over it and watch this.
My Octopus Teacher. It’s won an Oscar for Best Documentary.
How Scotland Can Become A Renewable Energy Superpower. I host, therefore I abuse my position on this blog to plug.
READ IT AND WEEP, OR VOTE AT LEAST
Scottish political party manifestos for the Holyrood elections.
Alba. Actually, no, we really don’t care what they say … nor, we would argue, should you.
Whatever your political hue, vote for nature.