The Scottish Parliament in early August established an ambitious emissions reductions target by passing a law to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. A noteworthy decision in itself – the action was driven at least in part by Scotland’s recognition of its moral duty to the rest of the world. The story is told by Don Brown, who heard first-hand the compelling testimony of Scottish governmental leaders during their debate. In his August 31 post on the award-winning website, ClimateEthics.org, Brown quotes several of them speaking on the moral basis of their decision.
As the climate negotiations heat up on the way to Copenhagen, the Scottish story offers a good example for decision-makers in recognizing their moral duty to the rest of the world and future generations. Bold action is needed to stem the causes of climate change and help people adapt to its unavoidable effects. Such a principled approach offers the best prospect for long-term economic, social and environmental well-being.