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Half a degree matters

We are in a climate crisis, and bold action is our only path out. We know 1.5°C is safer than 2°C for people and for nature.

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) mother and two cubs standing on fractured ice floe. © Richard Barrett / WWF-UK

The Scottish Government has declared a climate emergency and introduced a Climate Change Bill to commit Scotland to ending its contribution to climate change by 2045.

Over the next few months, the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Committee and eventually all MSPs will meet to discuss and finalise the Bill. We’re working with supporters like you to make sure the Bill is strong enough to transform Scotland’s climate commitments into ambitious action to keep global average temperature change below 1.5°C.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR CLIMATE WORK IN SCOTLAND

1.5°C: 70% TROPICALCORAL REEFS LOST BY 2100 2°C: 100% TROPICAL CORAL REEFS LOST BY 2100 1.5°C: ICE-FREE SUMMERS IN THE ARTIC EVERY 100 YEARS 2°C: ICE-FREE SUMMERS IN THE ARCTICEVERY 10 YEARS

Why 1.5 degrees?

Climate change is wreaking havoc on our wildlife and habitats, and impacting people’s lives and homes, here and around the world. But what we’ve experienced so far is nothing compared to what warming of 2°C could look like, and the damage it could have on a global scale.

The difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees might not seem much, but the difference for people and nature will be huge. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C means 1.3 billion fewer people exposed to extreme heatwaves, and 60 million fewer people to droughts. It means the chance to protect up to 30 per cent of coral reefs versus the near certainty of destroying all of them - an ecosystem on which a billion people depend.

Breaching 1.5°C is not inevitable, but it requires bold political leadership right now to achieve rapid and deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. And Scotland must play its part.

What can Scotland do?

The Scottish Government has now declared a climate emergency. And Scotland has a key part to play in ensuring that we keep global temperature change to 1.5°C.

Right now, our politicians are discussing a Climate Change Bill that commits Scotland to ending its contribution to climate change by 2045. We now need to see those commitments turned into increased and accelerated action to cut emissions.

The Climate Change Bill doesn’t yet include a reference to 1.5°C. It should. By committing to 1.5°C, we are showing that this bill is truly about doing all we can to meet our climate ambitions and obligations, and inspire other countries to follow in our footsteps.

Half-a-degree really matters. Make sure our politicians hear this message by signing our petition to members of the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, who when they meet this month have the power to put 1.5°C into the Bill.