New Parliament needs to meet climate challenge
Friends of the Earth Scotland look forward to working with the new Scottish Government and all 129 MSPs in implementing pre-election environmental and climate promises.
Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon said:
“Warm congratulations to all of Scotland’s MSPs. We look forward to working constructively with the new Government, however it is constituted, and all the new and returning MSPs to help tackle climate change and protect Scotland’s environment.
“The SNP have been elected on a manifesto position of profound scepticism about fracking and voters will expect them to follow through by banning fracking and all forms of unconventional fossil fuels. With Labour, the Lib Dems and Greens all standing on a platform to ban fracking, we look forward to strong cross party co-operation on all forms of unconventional fossil fuels.
On Climate Change:
“The SNP promised ahead of the elections to increase Scotland’s 2020 climate target from 42% to more than 50%. A key early priority for the new Government, and indeed the whole Parliament, is the SNP’s commitment to a new Climate Act. This should build upon the success of the 2009 Climate Act but include more ambitious action on transport, farming and rapidly transitioning away from our dependence on North Sea oil and gas.
“The ‘more than’ part of the promise to cut emissions by more than 50% is important because carbon accounting changes would allow them to include the closure of Longannet and the growth of renewables. When factored in, the advice from the UK’s Climate Committee will no doubt push their target up beyond 50%. In light of the unprecedented international climate agreement in Paris, our overall emission reductions targets should be a fair share of efforts to keep temperature rises to under 1.5C.”
On Community Renewables:
“The next Parliament promises to be an encouraging period for community ownership of renewables with the targets for community and locally-owned renewables doubling to 1GW by 2020 and to 2GW by 2030. There is also a pledge to ensure that over half of consented renewable projects will have shared ownership that will see even more communities benefitting from the renewable energy revolution. These innovative schemes mean that more people will have a say in the running of local renewables projects and that a greater share of the financial returns will also stay in their area.
On Air Pollution, which claims over 2,500 lives in Scotland each year:
“The commitment to a Low Emission Zone by 2018 is very welcome but action towards addressing the public health crisis of air pollution must be greatly accelerated. Without a real shift in transport spending priorities the Government’s long-standing aspiration to have 10% of journeys made by bike by 2020 will simply not be delivered. If we continue to see billion-pound budgets for road expansion and motorway building, we’ll not see the transport transformation that Scotland desperately needs.”
Notes to Editors
1. Friends of the Earth Scotland does not endorse any political party or candidate.
2. The SNP election Manifesto can be viewed at http://www.snp.org/manifesto
3. Scotland met its community energy target 5 years in October 2015. FoES has successfully called for it to be increased http://www.communitypower.scot/news/scottish-community-power-target-achi…
4. 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.