Election letters 2019 / Open letter to SIC: Failure to act on climate change is no longer viable

I am writing this open email to ask that Shetland Islands Council declares a climate emergency.

A petition raised by Shetland Climate Action on www.change.org now has well over 300 signatures.

The Scottish Government has already declared an emergency along with at least 15 of the 32 Scottish local authorities including Stirling, Fife, West Lothian, Angus, Dumfries & Galloway, Murray, Renfrewshire, Dundee, North Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, Orkney Islands, Highland, Edinburgh, and Glasgow City councils


I call on Shetland Islands Council to align us with other local authorities in Scotland, and to set out how it plans to do more to mitigate the impacts of and contribution to climate change in Shetland.

I would ask Shetland Islands Council to: –

  • Recognise that we are in a state of climate emergency, and that we need to restore a safe climate to avoid further climate degradation.
  • Develop a Climate Emergency Action Plan.
  • Set up a working group to report within a short timescale on immediate and longer-term actions as part of a Climate Emergency Action Plan.
  • Set local emission reduction targets to achieve zero net emissions/carbon neutral by 2030. Projects should increasingly prioritise the greatest emission reduction rather than relying on offsetting.
  • Integrate climate mitigation across all departments and into local plans, including a mandatory section in reports on how activities may affect carbon targets.
  • Engage with the public about the state of the emergency and inspire collaborative community action projects, such as community waste and food projects.

Failure to act is no longer viable. Evidence shows that the global cost of inaction far outweighs the cost of action. Future generations will end up paying even more if we fail to act now!

Stewart Douglas
Candidate for Shetland Central by-election