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28th Apr 2019

Nicola Sturgeon declares climate emergency at SNP conference

The Scottish first minister said she was inspired by youth climate strike activists

Oli Dugmore

The Scottish first minister said she was inspired by youth climate strike activists

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency in her keynote speech to the SNP’s spring conference in Edinburgh today.

The party leader said meetings with climate strike activists inspired her and pledged to expedite attempts at reaching zero carbon emissions.

Sturgeon said protesters “are right” and “Scotland will lead by example” because science shows global warming is worsening.

Extinction Rebellion campaigners attend a closing ceremony in Hyde Park to mark the voluntary end of the London protests on April 25, 2019 in London, England. The protest group announced that the demonstrations will come to an end after eleven days of roadblocks, sit-ins and the halting of sections of the public transport system, in a bid to highlight environmental concerns. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

However, last month in Holyrood SNP representatives voted against a Green motion to declare a climate emergency.

The declarations echoes a call by Jeremy Corbyn this weekend for the UK to declare a climate emergency, expecting to press the issue in the house of commons on Wednesday.

In addition, the first minister used her address to announce the SNP’s “biggest campaign on the economics of independence.”

Fracking has already been stopped in Scotland by the country’s devolved government and it’s pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Sturgeon said: “A few weeks ago, I met some of the young climate change campaigners who’ve gone on strike from school to raise awareness of their cause.

“They want governments around the world to declare a climate emergency. They say that’s what the science tells us. And they are right.

“So today, as first minister of Scotland, I am declaring that there is a climate emergency. And Scotland will live up to our responsibility to tackle it.

“We are already a world leader and our new legislation commits us to being carbon neutral by 2050.  It contains some of the toughest targets in the world.

“Later this week, the committee on climate change will publish new scientific advice on Scotland’s targets.

“So I am making this public promise to the young people I met, and to their entire generation.

“If that advice says we can go further or go faster, we will do so.”