Stop Climate Chaos Scotland’s response to the UK Governments climate commitment ahead of COP26 in Glasgow

  • 04 Dec 2020
  • General News, COP26


Scotland’s largest civil society coalition, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), has issued its reaction to the UK Government’s announcement of an increase to its 2030 climate target. 

Whilst the commitment to reduce emissions by at least 68% by 2030 is an increase from their previous target of 61% and a positive step closer to what is needed for the UK’s fair share of climate action, the new target falls significantly short of Scotland’s legal commitment to a 75% reduction over the same period. 

All countries are required to publish commitments through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of the COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow next year and SCCS calls on all high-polluting countries to urgently commit to more stretching action. Confirmation of the new UK-wide target comes just days after the Scottish Government committed to publishing its own “indicative” NDC. These targets are designed to help drive up ambition globally.

Ben Wilson of SCCS said: 

“The UK Government’s announcement of a 68% emissions reduction target by 2030 represents a small step in the right direction, but more ambition is still needed. 

“The Scottish Government’s plan to publish its own “indicative” Nationally Determined Contribution will include a more ambitious 75% emissions cut target for 2030. Crucially it will also include a pathway to achieve this reduction and a commitment to include Scotland’s share of international aviation and shipping within its calculations. The UK Government can and should do more, making sure that its NDC is more than just a symbolic figure. It must include detail on how deep and fast action to achieve these targets will be delivered.

“The reality is that unless more ambition is shown in the next year the global effort to hold heating to 1.5 degrees will be in jeopardy. Earlier this week, the UN Secretary General said the world is facing a “moment of truth” as he warned that humanity is waging what he describes as a “suicidal” war on the natural world. We know that millions more people across the world are already being exposed to more droughts, floods and heatwaves, amid a transformation of the world as we know it.

“It is therefore vital that COP26 delivers for the world’s poorest people, who are already suffering the effects of this crisis but have done the least to cause it. The talks in Glasgow must be a turning point in action for the global south, and deliver protections for them from future climate-induced impacts. Reducing emissions is essential, but we must do more than this – we must also unlock more finance to help the poorest adapt to the climate crisis they are already facing but did least to cause.”