Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Press Release: Weakening Scotland’s climate legislation an ‘abject failure’ and Scottish Government’s response ‘wholly inadequate’

  • 18 Apr 2024
  • Press Release

The Scottish Government has announced that it plans to weaken Scotland’s climate legislation by removing the legal requirement to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030, after the Climate Change Committee said the target could no longer be met.  

The move was confirmed by the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero Màiri McAllan as she announced a range of measures which she says will accelerate emission reduction.

Scotland’s civil society coalition on climate action says the policy package is ‘wholly inadequate’ and must now be urgently strengthened, and delivered at speed.

Responding, Mike Robinson, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), said: 

“The fact that Scottish Ministers feel they have no choice but to shift Scotland’s climate goal posts is the inevitable and damaging consequence of their abject failure to deliver the speed and depth of climate action needed since the 2030 target was set.

“However, none of us can hide from the realities of climate science and a continued failure to make our fair contribution to retaining a liveable planet would be, as the First Minister himself described it, “catastrophic negligence“.

“The lack of sufficient climate action to date represents a major breach of trust with the people of Scotland and communities around the world who have done least to cause the crisis but whose lives and livelihoods are already being destroyed. 

“The range of largely re-heated measures announced by the Scottish Government are wholly inadequate and fall very significantly short of the transformational acceleration in action needed. The Scottish Ministers must now be judged on whether and how quickly they strengthen these inadequate measures, and how quickly they then deliver and fund them.”

SCCS has set out a series of measures to help unlock a zero carbon, fairer country in which everyone benefits from a just transition that delivers warmer homes, cleaner air and decent green jobs. We now need the cross-party political will to implement such measures, backed by significant new investment. It is vital that the process to change Scotland’s climate legislation does not distract from taking urgent action to decarbonise. 

Mike Robinson added: 

“With climate impacts both here in Scotland and around the world rapidly worsening, we must double down, not water down our efforts to deliver a fast and just transition. Only systemic, transformational changes, particularly in high-emitting sectors like agriculture, land use, transport and heating, will get Scotland back on track, and rebuild severely damaged trust. 

“While the UK Government is partly to blame for the insufficient speed and scale of climate action to date due to inadequate policies in reserved areas, the Scottish Government must accept that in areas of devolved power there is an urgent need to actually deliver on its commitments.”