YOUNG Scottish climate activists have called on the UK’s media to sign up to three pledges following coverage of the recent heatwave.

The Fridays for Future Scotland campaign group, part of the international movement which sprang up after Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s protests in the summer of 2018, said the media had shown a “shocking level of apathy” towards the crisis facing the planet.

It came after the UK saw record-breaking temperatures earlier in the week, with Scotland recording highs of more than 35C, and parts of England breaking the 40C barrier for the first time ever.

In an open letter, the group said the media should engage with “concerns about the current extreme weather event, the heat waves that have swept across Western Europe”.

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It goes on: “There are currently wildfires in Portugal, Spain, and France. Temperatures are soaring into the high thirties all over the United Kingdom, even hitting 40°C in London. Roads are melting and rail tracks are buckling.

“Yet, these negative impacts have not been conveyed across our TV screens and in newspapers. In fact, we have seen images of people enjoying sunny weather on the beach.”

The young activists say the media has a responsibility to convey the danger of the climate crisis to the public, and call for three basic tenets to be followed in reporting of such weather events.

These are:

One: All coverage of heatwaves must feature and be led by climate scientists.

The activists say that scientists must be given space to explain the cause and effect of the climate crisis. They add: “For the same reason, we ask you not to platform climate change deniers who will downplay the reality.”

Two: All coverage of heatwaves must name the climate crisis and communicate its severity.

The group also calls on the media to explicitly link polluters to extreme weather events.

They said people “must know that this heatwave was sponsored by the fossil fuel industry, the meat industry, the fashion industry, the aviation industry, and other industries which prioritise profit over people and planet”.

Three: Coverage of heatwaves must not use “fun in the sun” imagery.

The activists say that photos and imagery used to accompany the media’s coverage of the heatwave too often showed people enjoying the weather.

They say pictures of beaches and ice creams “ignore the reality of these temperatures”, adding: “These temperatures are dangerous, they are not normal for the UK, and they are a result of the climate crisis.”

You can read the group’s open letter in full here.