The Cabinet Takeover is a globally unique opportunity, only in Scotland are young people routinely able to meet with their countries most senior ministers, it was truly amazing to be able to bring these issues that we’ve been campaigning on for so long to some of the most influential decision makers. While the cabinet takeover still has room for improvements, it’s great to see the direct impact of our work through these meetings.
I spoke on fast fashion and the circular economy, environmental issues have been raised at almost every cabinet meeting, with varying levels of impact, However it has never been more relevant then it is now and I am hopeful that with growing pressure in the government to make meaningful action towards the climate crisis coupled with the energy generated from the upcoming circular economy bill that we will be able to make concrete action towards saving our planet.
You can read my speech below:
I don’t need to spend time today convincing anyone of the need to take action to tackle climate change. The evidence is indisputable. My generation will inherit a dying a planet. In the next five years we will hit 1.5 degrees of global heating, causing earths regulatory systems to break down, gambling with lives of my generation.
Instead, I want to make the case for why young people’s voices should be an intrinsic part of building a sustainable Scotland.
Data published by Harvard shows that that movements with extensive youth participation are more likely to be successful than movements without, due to their creative and pioneering approach to activism in the digital age.
When young people are part of the conversation, they ensure policies and targets are ambitious and hold decision makers to account. But it is also a critical part of building climate solutions. By involving young people in decision-making on climate in a meaningful way, you gain:
- Fresh ideas and perspectives on climate solutions,
- Future leaders to tackle the challenges we will inherit,
- And the support of a key group who will have to make sustainable personal choices if Scotland is going to tackle the climate emergency.
To do this we need radical system change at the fundamental level of how our economy is structured, if done right, this can be achieved through the circular economy bill. We are thrilled that you are moving forward with the Circular Economy bill, and hope it passes as young people have told us for years it is important to them. But I am here today to share with you what young people told us the Bill should address:
First, to ensure that Scotland stays at the forefront of global change, the bill needs to be a landmark in the fight for climate justice. Setting an example for the kind of bold decisive, action that is required. Currently 1.3% of the resources Scotland uses are cycled back into the economy – this is unacceptable. Bold and accountable targets are crucial.
Secondly, a priority area for young people is the textile industry, it is responsible for ten percent of carbon emissions, yet it is unclear what the government is doing to tackle fast fashion. We would like to see measures to reduce waste in fashion included in either this or a future bill.
Lastly while we are hopeful that the circular economy bill will pass. Its impact hinges on its effective implementation. Today I am calling for the formation of a committee of young people, to aid in the implementation of the circular economy bill. This bill is too important to fail, and young people’s meaningful participation can help ensure that it won’t. I hope that you join me in this sentiment, and that together we can continue the fight for a sustainable Scotland.