Four Scottish Parliament Committees have told the Scottish Government they must rethink their plans to tackle climate change. Campaigners say that reports, based on expert evidence given to MSPs, are a ‘reality check’ for the Government.

MSPs had been scrutinising the Scottish Government’s proposed ‘Climate Change Plan update’, which sets out how emissions will be reduced between now and 2032 – including how Scotland will meet its crucial 2030 target to reduce emissions by 75%.

Amongst recommendations across four separate reports, MSPs have told the Scottish Government to:

– “Provide greater clarity on the modelling, evidential base and assumptions that underpin” estimates of how emissions will be reduced across sectors, and how policies and proposals in the plans will achieve these reductions.

– Review the credibility of the proposals around Negative Emission Technologies, like Carbon Capture and Storage and hydrogen, in the plan, introducing a ‘Plan B’ in case these fail to materialise as predicted

– Introduce more detail about how the plan relates to efforts to deliver a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Climate Campaigner Jess Cowell said:

“These reports from MSPs are a very welcome reality check for the Scottish Government’s plans to achieve our climate change ambitions. Committees in Holyrood heard from experts that plans lacked policy detail, lacked transparency in key calculations and were over-reliant on technologies which might not even be available in the timescale required. MSPs are correct to say that the Scottish Government must fully address these issues before finalising their updated plans.

“This Plan is crucial for laying the groundwork for the transformative action throughout the next 5 years that will put us well on our way to meeting our 2030 targets. The Scottish Government must use the coming weeks to revise their climate change plan, taking on board the feedback from MSPs and experts who appeared in front of Parliament. The final plan must be built around detailed policies which can be shown to reduce emissions over the next decade, without relying on the illusory promises of carbon capture or fossil hydrogen technologies.

“With the UN climate talks coming to Glasgow this year, and the clock ticking on solving the climate crisis, Scotland needs a bold plan setting out steps to phase out fossil fuel extraction and use, while ensuring a just transition for workers and communities currently dependent on the industry.”



Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Committee response to the draft updated climate change plan

Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee report

Local Government & Communities Committee report

Economy, Energy & Fair Work Committee report

Friends of the Earth Scotland have previously highlighted how experts evidence has cast doubt on whether the Climate Change Plan contains sufficient action for Scotland to meet its crucial targets.

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.