Friends of the Earth Scotland said that the Scottish Government announcement of delays to the Climate Change Plan and several other pieces of legislation were understandable given their immediate focus on the coronavirus.  The environmental campaigners acknowledged that Ministers, civil servants and MSPs are dealing with the global pandemic and its impact on almost every aspect of our lives.

Plans for new legislation intending to create a Circular Economy – where products are designed to last as long as possible, are easy to repair and made out of materials that can be recycled over and over – have also been paused indefinitely.

The announcement was made by Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham who said that when the delayed Climate Change Plan returned, it could contribute to a ‘green recovery’ plan for Scotland.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Climate and Energy Campaigner Caroline Rance said
“We know that the Scottish Government, many civil servants and our MSPs are focused on dealing with the coronavirus health crisis right now, so it is understandable the Climate Change Plan is temporarily put on hold in this extraordinary time.

“We offer our enormous thanks and support to those workers at the forefront of this crisis; those in health and caring professions, the people ensuring everyone has enough to eat, and those working to keep vital public infrastructure operating.

“As with any national or global crisis, it will be the poorest and most vulnerable who will suffer most. The people-powered responses to coronavirus have shown clearly our collective concern for our neighbours and wider society and we must take this approach into tackling the climate emergency.

“The climate emergency remains urgent, and solutions to the climate and environmental crises must be socially just. This pandemic shows how important it is that climate action tackles existing inequalities and protects the most vulnerable – both at home and around the world.

“The climate crisis continues unabated and around the world, people will be dealing with the interlinked crises of climate, COVID-19, poverty and inequality. We will continue to work with Government and MSPs to help deliver a just recovery for Scotland that avoids future climate catastrophes and creates a fairer society.”

Notes to Editors

1. The Scottish Government said that publication of the Climate Change Plan will be delayed due to coronavirus outbreak. https://www.gov.scot/news/climate-change-plan-update/

 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 5,000 local activist groups.