Who has the biggest carbon footprint of all?

Cathy Peattie and Oxfam Scotland show who is taking the ‘walk of shame’

Cathy Peattie and Oxfam Scotland show who is taking the ‘walk of shame’

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie joined Oxfam Scotland campaigners at the Scottish Parliament to expose differences in the carbon footprints of different countries. Campaigners are demanding a fair global climate deal to ensure serious carbon emitting nations stop harming and start helping developing countries by taking responsibility for their carbon pollution. Governments have just met in Poznan, Poland to negotiate the start of a treaty.

Scottish artist Lucy Turner drew to scale the carbon footprints of: the US, Russia, Australia, Scotland, Bangladesh, Uganda and Mali. The drawings stress the difference between country polluters and non-polluters.

Cathy, who is Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change committee, said that “with representatives of many nations meeting in Poland to discuss a global climate deal, we need to remind ourselves which countries are contributing most heavily to climate change. Countries like the US, Australia, Russia and Scotland all have huge carbon footprints while the poorest countries, such as Uganda, Bangladesh and Mali have tiny emissions. Yet it is the poor countries who are suffering most. We need a global deal that is fair to the poorest countries.

“As we look at the forthcoming Climate Change legislation, it is clear that emissions reductions need to happen here in Scotland and they need to happen now – and we can’t expect the most vulnerable countries in the world to meet our responsibilities for us.”

Oxfam Scotland’s Policy Officer, Michael Marra said: “These footprints represent a ‘walk of shame’ showing the huge differences in the carbon emissions between the world’s richest and poorest countries. We have largely welcomed the Scottish Climate Change Bill but it is vital that the Scottish Government does not ask developing countries to bear the burden of our responsibilities. As countries from all over the world negotiate on a global climate deal in Poland, Oxfam is urging that the Climate Bill that we put in place in Scotland will let us take the first urgent steps to a low carbon future for the country. In doing so we will be sending a clear message that Scotland wants to create a world where we care about how climate is impacting not only at home but also on the world’s poorest people.”

Photograph attached shows Cathy Peattie with footprints of US, Australia, Russia and Scotland. The other countries are not visible in the photo, but were tiny by comparison – about the size of small coins.


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