We recognise the deep connections between nuclear weapons and climate change, and the critical importance of tackling these twin existential threats together.
COP26: Climate Justice and Peace
From 1 to 12 November 2021, Glasgow will host one of the world’s most significant conferences on environment and climate change, known as COP26.
COP26 must not pass by without world leaders getting to grips with the massive climate damage done by war and preparations for war.
Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons
We stand in solidarity with communities around the world, who were subjected to decades of nuclear tests and who are now bearing the brunt of climate change. There can be no clearer demonstration of the links between these two deadly threats. As sea levels rise, the radioactive waste stored under the Runit Dome in the Marshall Islands – the legacy of repeated nuclear tests on the islands – is at risk of being washed away into the ocean. Climate change brings not only fresh devastation to Marshallese lives and livelihoods, adding to the wounds of the past, but also a major threat to the global ecosystem.
Every step in the nuclear chain, from the mining of uranium to the disposal of nuclear waste, does serious damage to our environment here and now – mostly among colonised lands and indigenous peoples, reflecting the racist, imperialist logic of nuclear war. Military expenditure is one of the biggest drivers of climate change worldwide, and the manufacture of nuclear weapons is no small part of that.
In addition to the present damage done by the production of nuclear weapons, they contain within themselves a much greater threat. A nuclear accident would do serious and long-lasting damage to the environment, as well as to human health, as we’ve seen at Chernobyl and Fukushima. A nuclear attack would unleash far greater destruction. Scientific modelling shows that even a so-called ‘small’ nuclear war could change our climate overnight, disrupting weather patterns and causing crop failures for years ahead, triggering famine for billions of people.
Ahead of COP26, we are asking you to write to your MSP and ask them to ensure that putting an end to nuclear weapons forms a central part of the government’s strategy for addressing climate change, as a fundamental risk to our environment and our survival.