Upcoming Events

We’ve lots of great events coming up soon so we’ve gathered them all in one place to make sure you don’t miss out!

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Activists’ Assembly: Working Together for a Fossil Free Scotland
Saturday 24 September 2016 | 09:30 to 17:00

City of Edinburgh Methodist Church – 25 Nicolson Square, EH8 9BX
We’ll celebrate the great progress made so far by campaigners and groups and explore what’s next in key areas like divestment, fracking and transport. The day will include workshops on topics from ‘climate, migration & refugees’ to ‘just transition.’ There will also be inspirational speakers and updates about the political context and latest opportunities for fossil free campaigning in Scotland.

Lunch is included so book your free place now https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/activists-assembly-working-together-for-a-fossil-free-scotland-tickets-26819860926 Continue reading

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Will there be change in the air after Brexit?

The seismic shocks after the earthquake of the EU referendum are showing no signs of easing, with the UK’s political parties in a mess, and Sturgeon here in Scotland exploring options to deliver on the Scottish people’s mandate to stay in Europe. It’s worth stepping back and reflecting on why people voted to leave the EU. Some leave voters were disenchanted with politics, feeling that politicians did not speak to, or for them. Others were worried that their children will inherit a world which is in worse shape than the one they grew up in. For many, their vote to leave was about taking command of their livelihoods.

The tragic irony is that by leaving the EU, the UK has opened the door to the erosion of fundamental freedoms and legislation which protects our dignity as human beings: laws around human rights, a healthier environment, and workers’ rights.

Pro- EU protest banner

Creative Commons EU Protest” by Ben Scicluna is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Divesting from fossil fuels as we leave the EU

On 23 June the UK voted to leave the European Union. Given the EU’s role in negotiating carbon quotas, driving renewable energy and regulating manufacturing it’s clear that this decision will have wide ranging ramifications for the fight against climate change. But how does this decision impact on our efforts to challenge fossil fuel companies through divestment? Continue reading

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EU departure means a tough fight to protect our environment

In 1993 the Norwegian Environment Minister called John Gummer, the UK Environment Secretary, a drittsekk – a shitbag– because of the massive impact on Scandinavian lakes and forest of acid rain caused by emissions from British power stations. In the 1980s Britain was known as ‘the Dirty Man of Europe’ because of our widespread pollution of air, land and water. We are now in danger of regaining that reputation.

It is largely thanks to 40 years of European laws on industrial pollution, water quality, nature protection and clean air that the environment we live in has improved. Sometimes the UK has been a willing participant, sometimes even a leader, but most often we have been dragged along to meet standards others in Europe take for granted.

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Posted in Access to Environmental Justice, Air Pollution, Climate Change, Climate Justice, European Trading Scheme, Fossil Free, Fracking, Green Economy, Politics & Parliament, Renewables, Shale gas, Transport | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Church of Scotland gets divesting

In May the Church of Scotland voted to stop investing in energy companies causing the worst climate pollution: producers of tar sands, a highly destructive form of oil extraction, and coal.

A petition begun by Church of Scotland members calling for total divestment from fossil fuels received almost 3,000 names in just over three weeks. Continue reading

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It’s time for a fossil free Church of Scotland

On Tuesday 24th May the Church of Scotland votes on whether to start moving their money out of fossil fuels.

As a major Scottish organisation the Church of Scotland can show moral leadership on climate change by rejecting dirty energy and instead supporting the green economy.

To make this happen we need thousands of voices to encourage them to act.

Sign the petition now.

benThe petition was started by members of the Church of Scotland Youth Assembly who have led a long campaign calling for the Kirk to divest. We want to tell the Church: now is the time.

Spread the word by sharing this blog with friends and family now. Continue reading

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RBS quits tar sands!

Photo by the UK Tar Sands Network
A Guardian investigation revealed on Sunday that the Royal Bank of Scotland, one of the world’s largest banks, has hugely reduced its investments in fossil fuels, including all finance for the deeply damaging tar sands in Canada. Continue reading

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Offsetting mega-mining: nature for sale in Madagascar

Cover of "Rio Tinto’s biodiversity offset in Madagascar: Double landgrab in the name of biodiversity?"

Previously on the Friends of the Earth Scotland blog we have looked at a company called Rio Tinto – a global mining giant and major coal producer – as an example of the kind of unsustainable company that we shouldn’t be investing in.

The month Rio Tinto are holding their annual meeting in London. To time with this environmental organisations Re:Common and the World Rainforest Movement have released a new report investigating another aspect of the company’s practices: their investments in offsetting schemes. Continue reading

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Parties come together to debate climate action

When world leaders sign the new deal to tackle climate change at the UN on Friday it will mark an important step on the road to dealing with this huge global problem. It is also a clear recognition by countries across the world, including Scotland, of the need to take urgent action.

Conference Hall, Paris Climate Talks

Inside the Paris Climate Conference

The historic deal was agreed by 196 nations at the UN climate change summit in Paris in December. They have committed to limiting the global temperature rise to ‘well below’ 2oC and to drive efforts to keep the increase to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Accord includes the promise by wealthy industrialised nations to provide $100bn per year to help vulnerable countries to adopt clean energy and cope with the impacts of climate change.
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Reinventing Scotland’s economy: bright spots in a overcast sky

Seal Sands, Teeside - Factory pollution © Jennifer Bates/Friends of the Earth "Around the world thousands of people's health and livelihoods are damaged by factory pollution. Friends of the Earth is calling for global rules to be introduced at the Earth Summit to protect people and the environment.

Scotland’s economic debate is yet to come to terms with the end of the North Sea oil industry. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Bates/Friends of the Earth EWNI

Some events on a weekend in March and a couple of recent reports have spread a bit of light in the otherwise dull landscape of debate about the economy in Scotland.

Matthew Crighton, Climate Jobs Campaigner, discusses the Glasgow Economics Forum, John McDonnell MP’s New Economic Lecture, Banking for the Common Good and Common Weal’s report on Towards an Industrial Policy for Scotland.

The Glasgow Economics Forum on 19-20 March heard about a diverse range of ways of thinking about the real economy, underlying trends which are challenging any conventional analysis of where we are going and choices which have to be made about that – from top speakers including Paul Mason, Steve Keen and Victoria Chick. It’s organised entirely by students – the Glasgow University Real Economics Society, set up to ‘promote pluralism in economic thought’, in reaction to the monopoly which neo-classical economics exercises in that university, just as in the others in Scotland. The bits I was able to attend were stimulating and the large number of students in the audience was inspiring. But apart from the speakers there didn’t seem to be many professional economists… Continue reading

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