A SUMMIT of political and civic leaders should be convened to consider Scotland’s response to a “damning” UN report on climate change, the Scottish Greens have said.

Co-convener, Patrick Harvie, said the meeting should take as a starting point the need for a rapid transition to a post-oil economy, and should have no limit on the proposals for progress it puts forward.

READ MORE: We face extinction if there's no investment to deal with climate change

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report yesterday said countries had to take “unprecedented” action to slash carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and limit dangerous global warming.

It said impacts of climate change, from droughts to rising seas, will be less extreme if temperature rises are curbed at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels than if they climb to 2C. Limiting warming to 1.5C is possible but will require fast and far-reaching changes to power generation, industry, transport, buildings and potential shifts in lifestyle such as eating less meat.

It will also require action to take excess carbon emissions out of the atmosphere.

Harvie said: “Crucially, Scotland can no longer take comfort in the limited actions already promised while pretending the fossil fuel economy can carry on as usual.

“The First Minister’s response should be to convene a summit of political and civic leaders throughout Scotland.

“The meeting should see no limit set on our ambitions, where Scottish Greens will make the case for creating a net-zero CO2 target for 2040, transformation in failing areas like transport and agriculture, and public-led investment in the post-oil economy of the future. Every aspect of business-as-usual politics must be challenged, and the Greens are ready to set out the positive ideas our future needs.”

Dr Richard Dixon, director of friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES), said the report was an “unprecedented warning” and made clear governments had a narrow and shrinking window for action.

“It shows that a 1.5C world will be a nightmare but a 2C world would be unthinkable,” he said.

“The Scottish Government’s new Climate Bill fails to deliver the ‘rapid and far-reaching transitions’ the report says is necessary.”

Climate activists were at the SNP conference yesterday handing out double-sided newspapers from the year 2040, featuring two alternative sets of Scottish news stories from Monday October 8, 2040.

One featured positive news from Scotland’s climate leadership, while the other portrayed stories of negative impacts of unfolding climate chaos.

Christian Aid said scientists were giving us two messages – one of hope and one of urgency.

Its senior adviser, Chris Hegarty, said: “People in Scotland are rightly proud of the great progress we’ve made so far on climate change, but we risk being left trailing – and failing to do what’s required for the safety and wellbeing of countless people around the world – unless we up our game.

“Scotland’s Parliament and Government must commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions before 2050 in our new Climate Change Act.”

Gina Hanrahan, WWF Scotland’s head of policy, said the report had clear implications for Scotland’s response. She said: “Political leadership is the key to success and existing pledges don’t go far enough.

“To be ahead of the curve, we have to eliminate our contribution to climate change entirely by 2050 in Scotland.

“MSPs must now strengthen the Climate Change Bill currently making its way through Holyrood and collectively rise to the challenge.”

The SNP conference in Glasgow passed a motion expressing concern at the IPCC findings, and added: “With Scotland’s new Climate Change Bill currently before Parliament setting a zero carbon goal for 2050 and an overall reduction of 90% in all greenhouse gases, conference recognises Scotland as an example to the world and calls for world-wide engagement to show other nations the folly of policies that will, if continued, tip the world into disaster.”