New Scottish Climate Bill must fix climate plan which fails to deliver

  • 06 Mar 2018
  • General News, Act for Our Future

Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham today laid out the new Climate Change Plan before the Scottish Parliament and faced questions from all political parties on its contents. The Plan details the Government’s policies and proposals to enable Scotland to meet its climate emissions reduction targets in the period 2018-2032.

The Plan was unveiled last Wednesday but the Cabinet Secretary’s scheduled statement to Parliament last Thursday was delayed by the extreme weather across Scotland.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, a civil society coalition which has been analysing the Plan reveal that:

  • Policies in final plan will achieve 900,000 less tonnes of Carbon emissions reductions by 2030 than in the draft plan.
  • The Agriculture draft policies aimed for a 12% reduction in emissions from 2018 to 2032, whereas the final only aims for 9%.
  • The target for low carbon homes in 2032 fell from 80% to 35% between first and final drafts.
  • Improvements in Land Use, Land Use Change & Forestry and transport emissions but regression in buildings and electricity.

The Plan also commits to delivering 50% of Scotland’s energy from renewable sources by 2030 as well as a phase out of fossil fuelled vehicles by 2032.

Gail Wilson, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Campaigns Manager commented:

“This Climate Change Plan doesn’t deliver the detailed policies or the necessary ambition to drive a just transition to a zero carbon Scotland.

“It is extremely disappointing to see that this final plan is missing policy effort of almost 1 million tonnes of CO2, compared to the draft. Climate science and justice mean that we should be scaling up our ambition rather than going backwards in key areas like farming and warmer homes.

“The upcoming Climate Bill must address the huge untapped potential for ambitious new policies that will deliver multiple benefits for the economy, public health and our environment. The urgency of climate change requires the Scottish Government to set strong new targets in this Bill, including increased action before 2030 which will put us on a path to zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.”

“We heard today from MSPs that recommendations from several Parliamentary committees to improve the draft Climate Plan have been overlooked. The Scottish Government should use the Climate Change Bill as an opportunity to fix the significant shortcomings in this Plan.”

Gail Wilson continued: “We welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s acknowledgement that extreme weather events like we endured here last week will become more common as climate change worsens. In Scotland, we are relatively able to cope with more severe weather but nations which are still developing often do not have the resilience or resources to cope with these catastrophic events.

“Scotland, as a historic fossil fuel producing nation, has a particular duty to reduce emissions and join other climate leaders in bringing about the required urgent global action.

The Scottish Government is due to unveil their new Climate Bill – which will then necessitate an updated Climate Change Plan – before summer 2018. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland are calling for the new Climate Bill to introduce a target of zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and 77% by 2030, backed by the action to realise it.

New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Iceland have already committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. The European Parliament has also recommended that Europe as a whole reaches net-zero by 2050.