THE Scottish Government became the first country in the world to declare a state of climate emergency in April this year. However, recent headlines suggest the party in governance continue to pursue the further exploration of oilfields in the North Sea. So I ask: How can you commit to climate justice, while still supporting the root cause of the climate crisis?

I’ve seen an increasingly concerning trend on the rise as environmental awareness in the general public increases: Greenwashing.

Originally coined by Jay Westerveld in 1986, it is a term which describes the exploitation of our increasing environmental awareness in order to further corporate consumerism. And unfortunately it works.

Greenwashing has taken on a new form in the recent political discussion around the climate crisis. Governments such as our own are applauding themselves for making meaningless statements and setting baseless targets. The Scottish government has said it is committed to be carbon neutral by 2045, and the UK by 2050 (both of which being lethally late, but that’s for another article), but as of yet have no coherent action plan in achieving this.

Why are they doing this? This new form of greenwashing at a governmental level is equivalent to sweeping the dirt under the rug, claiming they are doing “so much” for the environment while continuing to pursue the enablement of private profit.

But it isn’t working. Extinction Rebellion and the school strikers recognise the need for action, not just lip service, and bring with them a whole set of demands beyond just the climate emergency.

One example of policy which epitomises the political greenwashing of the 21st century is the relentless pursuit of what they call “sustainable growth” – a concept which is entirely oxymoronic.

It should be common sense that you simply cannot keep pursuing he extraction of environmentally damaging resources such as oil while expecting to grow forever.

In order to grow, you need to extract, and by continuing to extract you place the lives of billions of people in danger by furthering the climate crisis.

So, clearly I’m not satisfied, and neither are the majority of activists I know. We won’t be satisfied until our country is responsible for absolutely zero carbon emissions from all sectors.

We won’t be satisfied as long as the government continues to prioritise profit over human wellbeing in its decision making. They have the tools to achieve this: implement a nationwide Green New Deal, and get it over with already.

Too often do we see adverts on social media for an all new “environmentally friendly” range of clothing, or cutlery set, or laundry detergent, that supposedly we must buy in order to do our bit and save the planet.

But the solution to the climate crisis isn’t this new form of green-consumerism. The solution is an end to consumerism altogether. We must entirely restructure our society to create a circular economy.

One which values not the convenience of single-use plastics and consumables, but values sustainability. This not only brings with it the environmental benefits, by reducing our burden on the planet, but brings us all individual benefits in reduced long-term living costs.

The concept extends even to the oil companies and the multinats which are most responsible for the climate crisis. Browse to BP’s Facebook page and you are greeted by an animation of a dog, with its lucious locks blowing in the wind and turbines gently turning in the background.

Or to Shell’s, where their timeline is full of self-praise for their solar-powered EV charging stations. Meanwhile, both companies continue to pursue oil exploration in Alaska and the North Sea, continuing to threaten our futures as they push for greater carbon consumption.

So clearly the ruling class recognise that the climate crisis is a threat. But they do nothing, as they care only for profit and they will do anything they can in its pursuit, irregardless of its social and environmental implications.