Commenting on the Scottish Programme for Government, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s head of campaigns Mary Church said:

“There is a welcome recognition in the Programme for Government that the cost of living crisis and the climate emergency are interconnected but the action to mitigate their impacts and tackle their root causes falls far short of what is needed. One year on from COP26 in Glasgow, the Scottish Government’s fine rhetoric has not turned into the transformative action needed to drive change across transport, housing and energy.

“The Scottish Government must use its forthcoming energy strategy to spell out how it will secure a rapid and fair transition away from the fossil fuels which are driving both crises within the next decade. By transforming our energy system to run on reliable, affordable renewable energy we can future proof our lives against further damage from volatile fossil fuels.

“The energy strategy must focus on demand reduction, energy efficiency and renewables, which can deliver decent green jobs in Scotland instead of fantasy techno-fixes like hydrogen and carbon capture. The Scottish Government has admitted that these speculative negative emission technologies won’t be able to deliver this decade so it’s hard to see why it continues to throw time and resources at the fossil fuel industry’s pipe dreams.

ScotRail Fare Freeze

“The freeze on ScotRail fares demonstrates how public ownership can keep fares from getting even higher, benefitting passengers and helping support the necessary shift away from cars. While the fare freeze is welcome, the Scottish Government should be going further and actually reducing fares to help more people leave the car behind.

Circular Economy Bill

“We saw the same promise to introduce a Circular Economy Bill 12 months ago, it must be delivered this time. Consumption targets to reduce both Scotland’s carbon footprint and material footprints need to be at the heart of the Circular Economy Bill to create real change.

Human Rights Bill

“It’s disappointing that the Human Rights Bill that would enshrine the right to a healthy and safe environment in Scots Law has been kicked into the long grass. This is a vital piece of legal protection for people and nature that should not be delayed any further nor cannot it be allowed to become a political football in the constitutional debate.”

Scottish Programme for Government 2022/23
https://www.gov.scot/publications/stronger-more-resilient-scotland-programme-government-2022-23/documents/

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, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.