Commenting on the release of the Scottish Government’s emissions figures for 2009, Stan Blackley, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“While we welcome the news that carbon emissions decreased in 2009, it’s clear that this reduction was largely due to the effects of the economic downturn, rather than any proactive government action. We also know that provisional data suggests that emissions increased again in 2010, so the Scottish Government hasn’t been able to ‘lock-in’ these emissions savings from 2009 or replicate them through its own effort.

“We can’t continue to rely on adverse economic conditions to save the planet! We need immediate and proactive action from Scottish Ministers now if we’re to cut emissions and reap the social and economic rewards that come with measures designed to tackle climate change.”

The Scottish Government also today released its annual key environmental statistics today. Stan Blackley added:

“Its great news that the amount of electricity being generated by renewables is increasing and now matches that produced by oil and gas. Hopefully, we’ll see increased effort in the short-term to ensure that electricity produced from a mix of safe, clean, renewable sources becomes the main then only contributor to the grid, and to help ensure that we meet Scotland’s target of providing 100% of electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020.

“The government still has a long way to go to bring Scotland’s air pollution within acceptable levels. It’s often the poorest areas of Scotland that are worst affected by air quality breaches and that suffer from the associated harm to public health. Given the main contributor to poor air quality in Scotland is road transport, we are renewing our call to Government to prioritise investment in public transport, walking and cycling measures to provide healthier alternatives to the private car and help improve air quality standards for Scotland’s communities.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2009
www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/09/05094939/0

Annual publication containing summary of key statistics on environmental trends in Scotland.
www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/09/05154117/0

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, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk