Parties to put election focus on climate promises

  • 18 Apr 2016
  • General News
The five main political parties are today expected to focus their election campaigning on their policies to tackle climate change.

The parties will compete to demonstrate that they are the ones to be trusted by the voters with the vitally important job of delivering on Scotland’s climate commitments and securing the benefits of a low carbon economy.

Differences are expected to arise over how they will pledge to address the crisis of Scotland’s 1.5 million ‘cold homes’ and reduce our dependence on the private car by supporting public and active travel such as walking and cycling.  Promises to slash Air Passenger Duty despite its climate impact are expected to reveal distinctions between the parties.

This ‘Climate Day’ will also include a special online climate debate hosted by the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition. This will feature candidates from the five parties facing questions from both a live audience and viewers at home via videolink and social media.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Chair Tom Ballantine said,

“It is testimony to the Scottish public appetite for action that the parties are today focusing their campaigns on how they will tackle climate change. The parties understand that Scotland’s people will benefit from the jobs and opportunities created by moving to a low carbon economy.

“The next Scottish Parliament, whatever its political make up, must ensure that delivering on the Climate Act is at the top of their agenda.

“We are already seeing the impacts of climate change with record breaking temperatures each year and extreme weather events like storms and flooding. Action to cut carbon emissions is needed urgently. The parties’ determination to show that they are the ones to be trusted with this task will, we hope, drive transformative action in the next five years.

“By ensuring every home is a warm home, transforming agriculture and increasing the options for cleaner, greener transport we can meet our national targets and, with support for those most affected by climate change in the poorest countries, do our fair share at home and abroad.

The climate debate will take place in Edinburgh tonight and will be chaired by writer, journalist and broadcaster, David Torrance and the panellists will be

  • Sarah Boyack, Environmental  Justice Spokesperson for Scottish Labour Party
  • Mark Ruskell, Environment Spokesperson for Scottish Green Party
  • Ben MacPherson, SNP candidate for Edinburgh North & Leith
  • Ettie Spencer, Liberal Democrats candidate for East Lothian
  • Gordon Lindhurst, Scottish Conservative candidate for Edinburgh Pentlands
Mr Ballantine continued,

“Tonight’s online debate will see the five candidates grilled on how they will deliver on the climate policies Scotland needs. The candidates will set out their respective stalls as to why their climate plans are deserving of your vote in just a few weeks time.

“The interactive nature of the event means it is an opportunity for everyone with an internet connection to ask the climate question that matters to them.  We’ve been gathering them in advance and people want to know what changes the parties will make in areas ranging from renewables to cycling infrastructure and reducing food waste. You can still submit yours now using Facebook, Twitter or through the SCCS website.”