Climate activists disrupted the first FMQs of Scotland's new First Minister, Humza Yousaf, five times on Wednesday. The protesters, who are part of the Extinction Rebellion Scotland group, used loudspeakers to call for urgent action on climate change outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
The activists continued to chant and shout during the FMQs, which lasted for 45 minutes. Yousaf, who was appointed First Minister last month, responded to the interruption by saying that the Scottish government is taking action on the climate emergency. He said that the government is investing in renewable energy, introducing new legislation to reduce emissions and creating jobs in green industries.
Yousaf also said that the government is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2045 and that he would be announcing a new climate action plan in the coming weeks.
The protesters were removed from the chamber by police officers, but their message was clear. They want the Scottish government to take more action on climate change, and they want it to happen now.
The disruption caused by the protesters was widely condemned by the opposition parties. Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said it was “unacceptable and out of order”, while Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said it was “disrespectful”.
However, there was some support for the protesters from other politicians. Green MSP Ross Greer said that their actions were a “perfectly reasonable thing to do” and that it was “a sign of how desperate people are” for the government to take action.
The disruption of FMQs is the latest in a string of climate protests that have taken place in Scotland in recent months. The Extinction Rebellion Scotland group is planning further protests in the coming weeks, and it is clear that they are not willing to wait for the Scottish government to take action on climate change.