Paris climate deal could 'save the haggis'

Haggis supplies threatened by climate change could be saved under a new international deal struck in Paris, the SNP has said.

Published 16th Dec 2015
Updated 12 th Sep 2023

Calum Kerr, the party's environment and rural affairs spokesman, told MPs that sheep lungs - a key ingredient in Scotland's national dish - are being left unusable for food by lungworm infections.
It is thought rising temperatures could have resulted in increased numbers of the parasite.

Mr Kerr joked climate change could put Scotland's "very nationhood at threat" and said the Paris agreement could halt the risk to one of the country's "finest native foods".

Almost 200 nations have signed the Paris Agreement to fight climate change, with the deal aiming to keep temperature rises "well below" 2C and commit to strive to curb increases to 1.5C.

Speaking during an Opposition Day debate on climate change and flooding, Mr Kerr said the pact could "literally reshape our landscape" in Scotland.

He said: "At the moment, increasing rainfall and changes in patterns mean our 50,000 kilometres of rivers are likely to flood more often."

Mr Kerr added: "Rising sea levels also mean some of our coastal habitats could be lost entirely and there is actually another effect - climate change affects lungworm, a disease which affects sheep and renders their lungs unusable as food.

"I hope not to disturb my colleagues here. Sheep lungs are of course a key ingredient in haggis and this is central to Scottish culture ... what would Burns night be without haggis? It could put our very nationhood at threat.

"Hopefully though we can now avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change and the consequent risk to one of our finest native foods."

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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