We must not allow climate chaos to become our future - Lorna Slater

Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna SlaterMinister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater
Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater
​In Scotland we’re used to rain and bad weather, but the frequency and severity of the storms we’re experiencing should concern all of us.

It’s not often that the Met Office issues a danger to life warning, but that’s what they did as Storm Isha approached. It brought some of the strongest winds we’ve seen for decades, with almost the entire country feeling its impact.

With 70 mph gusts blowing through our city, and winds of over 100 mph in other parts of the country, it’s been a time for as many of us as possible to hunker down and stay indoors. Watching from my window I could see the rain battering down on the streets below while people wrestled to keep their umbrellas in one piece.

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We should all be grateful to the emergency service workers and everyone else who had to work through hazardous conditions to keep us safe.

They have done everything they can to protect us from the elements while hundreds of flights and trains have been cancelled, thousands of homes have experienced power cuts and key roads have been blocked.

Storm Isha was not a one off. Far from it. We have had nine named storms hitting the UK in the last five months alone. It was only last October that Storm Babet burst the banks of the Esk and forced hundreds of families to evacuate their homes in Brechin.

It’s not just Scotland that is experiencing the turbulence. As we look around the world, these kinds of extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more severe.

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It may be hard to believe with this backdrop, but last year was the world’s warmest year on record by some margin. With our climate changing around us we can expect even more extreme weather, which means both hotter summers and colder, wetter and windier winters.

That is why we must redouble our efforts to climate-proof our country and our communities. It makes it all the more important that we reduce our emissions and work with other governments to deliver the environmental action that is becoming more necessary with every day.

Yet, as I write this, Westminster is hours away from voting on a bill that would double down on fossil fuels and allow annual oil and gas licensing. Meanwhile Labour seems to be dropping key climate policies when they are more crucial than ever. Is that the legacy we want to leave future generations?

We can’t let this extreme weather of the last 12 months become our new normal. Storm Isa has been a glimpse of a future we must do everything we can to avoid.

With more storms forecast in the days ahead, stay safe and follow the Met Office for updates.

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