Friends of the Earth Scotland today (04/09/2018) challenged the Scottish Government to build on the progress of last year’s “greenest ever” Programme for Government. Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Director Dr Richard Dixon said:

“Last year’s Programme for Government was the greenest ever and this year’s needs to build on that progress. We want to see strengthened commitment to tackling climate change and protecting nature, especially in the face of Brexit, as well as new policies to tackle waste and pollution.

“The draft Climate Bill contains targets that are nowhere near good enough for Scotland to do its fair share on tackling the climate crisis. We’ll be looking for commitment from Nicola Sturgeon to aim higher, especially in the next decade, to reclaim Scotland’s place as an international climate leader. Any infrastructure announcements need to be low-carbon infrastructure, not new roads, bridges or runways. Any support for the North Sea oil industry should only be directed towards helping businesses and workers transition from high-carbon to low-carbon industries.

“A draft Transport Bill has been published but key measures that people expected to see, such as powers for councils to allow them to run their own bus companies and to introduce workplace parking charges were absent. We’re hoping for a change of direction on these measures in the Programme today.

“Last year’s commitment to a deposit return scheme for bottle and cans is progressing well, with a consultation on the details of the scheme live just now. The working group on further action on plastic took a while to get going and we’d like to see further strong commitments to reducing plastic waste in the announcements today.

“To live up to promises made in the 2017 Programme for Government we need to see more progress on some of its commitments, particularly a joined up plan on delivering the petrol and diesel vehicle phase out, and more ambition in the plans for Low Emission Zones. We also need to see an adequately resourced, statutory Just Transition Commission with proper representation from unions, workers and environmentalists on board to oversee the transition to a zero carbon economy. The Scottish National Investment Bank’s missions must be coherent and ensure all financing contributes towards decarbonisation. ”

The 2017 Programme for Government included commitments to:

  • phase out the need for diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2032
  • tackle air pollution with 4 Low Emission Zones across Scotland by 2020
  • create a new Just Transition Commission to help Scotland move to a low-carbon economy fairly
  • create a new National Investment Bank to fund long term, patient projects
  • create a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans


Notes to Editors

  1. Programme for Govermment 2107 – FoES reaction https://foe.scot/press-release/prog-govt-2017-reaction/ and blog https://foe.scot/greenest-ever-prog-govt/
  2. “Holyrood’s draft climate change bill in hot water” Scotland on Sunday 2/9/18 https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/holyrood-s-draft-climate-change-bill-in-hot-water-1-4793580/
  3. 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.