Watchdog issues warning on Scottish climate change action

  • 31 Jan 2012
  • General News
  • Recent emission reductions due to recession, not government measures
  • Emissions now rising, new government measures needed

An independent UK watchdog has today increased the pressure on the Scottish Government to amend the budget to ensure Scotland meets the targets set out in the Scottish Climate Change Act.

Responding to the publication today of the UK Committee on Climate Change (UKCCC) assessment of the progress Scotland has made towards reaching its emission targets, since passing the Climate Change Act, Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said:

“This assessment of Scotland’s progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions makes it pretty clear the government must raise its game. The Committee conclude that climate emissions have mainly fallen due to the recession and not as a result of government policy.”

Most worryingly the report says that rather than locking in the reduction, emissions were back on the rise in 2010. This is particularly true in the transport sector, highlighted by the Committee as an example of where new policy effort is needed from the Scottish Government.”

This call for action jars with the Budget currently making its way through Parliament which has a worrying disregard for the climate legislation. Instead of committing funds to build on sustainable transport policies as the Committee urges, the Government proposes to cut funding by a third, ignoring policies that would reduce emissions, improve health and air quality and benefit our communities. At the same time it is pouring money into the roads budget, the one area where emissions continue to rise.”

Unless the budget is amended to fully fund the measures set out in the Scottish Government’s action plan it risks disappointing the tens of thousands of people in Scotland, and around the world, who called for action on climate change.”