Friends of the Earth Scotland today (1/9/19) called on Nicola Sturgeon to back up her commitment to tackling the Climate Emergency by implementing a radical Programme for Government that will significantly reduce harmful climate emissions within the next decade. The environmental group has produced a suite of policy ideas that would ensure Scotland strengthens and delivers on its fair share of climate action. These include:

  • Ending support for new North Sea oil and gas
  • Set an end date for fossil-fuelled heating systems in homes
  • Free bus travel for all
  • Ensure that decommissioning and renewable energy jobs are kept in Scotland

In May 2019, the Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change Roseanna Cunningham told the Scottish Parliament that “the Scottish Government will be placing climate change at the heart of everything that we do. I can confirm that it will be at the core of our next programme for government and spending review.”

The positive, ambitious list of ideas from FoES also includes measures to set improved targets in the current Climate Bill, cut our use of natural resources and enact a full legal ban on fracking.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon commented,

“This week’s Programme for Government is the Scottish Government’s opportunity to deliver on their fine words about the Climate Emergency. With school strikes and street protests, the public demand for radical action is enormous and the science is clear that climate emissions must be drastically reduced within the next decade.

“With the eyes of the world expected to focus on Scotland next year for the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, the Scottish Government should put its money where its mouth is on tackling climate change and implement these recommendations.

“The Scottish Government must end its support for the oil and gas companies who want to drill every drop from the North Sea and instead plan a managed phase out of extraction and implement a just transition for those workers and communities currently reliant on this sector. The Government can no longer turn a blind eye to the damage caused by the fossil fuels produced just off our shores.”

“The transition to a zero-carbon economy has huge potential to deliver new, decent green jobs for Scotland – from developing renewable energy infrastructure, to decommissioning North Sea oil infrastructure. The public will be forced to pick up the bill for decommissioning so the least they can expect is that this money is spent in the UK and creates new facilities and jobs here.

“Transport is Scotland’s most polluting sector and our bus sector has been losing millions of passengers in recent years. Making bus travel free for everyone would reduce climate and air pollution, slash congestion, save money in the health service, and ensure that everyone can access work, family and social activities irrespective of income.

“By committing to stop heating our homes with fossil fuels we’ll send a clear message that the era of fossil fuels is coming to an end. This should begin with their ban in all new-build homes, then through a phase-out of like-for-like replacements of oil and gas boilers and cookers. This must be delivered in tandem with a programme that lifts people out of fuel poverty and ensures every home is super energy efficient.

“Together these steps would deliver a jobs-rich, better connected, healthier Scotland that meets its international responsibilities.”

Notes to Editors

Read the full Climate Emergency Response Plan https://foe.scot/resource/programme-for-government-climate-emergency-response-plan/

Cabinet Secretary statement in Scottish Parliament (14 May 2019) http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12097&i=109417

Scotland declares Climate Emergency (April 2019) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-48077802

Glasgow bid to host 2020 UN Climate Conference https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/aug/09/uk-chooses-glasgow-host-major-un-climate-change-summit

In 2017, road transport was the largest source of climate emissions in Scotland. Road transport emissions have increased by 11.1 per cent between 1990 and 2017.
Transport (excluding International Aviation and Shipping) was responsible for 32.1% of Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2017. https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-greenhouse-gas-emissions-2017/pages/3/

Number of bus journeys in Scotland falls by 100 million over decade (Feb 2019) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47388550

‘Sea Change’ report shows how UK’s oil and gas drilling plans, and Scottish Government’s support for them, are incompatible with responding to the climate emergency. It also demonstrates how, with the right policies, clean industries could create more than three jobs for every North Sea oil job at risk, which can enable an “equivalent job guarantee” for every oil worker. (May 2019) https://foe.scot/press-release/scottish-support-uk-oil-gas-drilling-incompatible-climate-emergency/

Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.