Removing funding for The Sustainable Development Commission Scotland may turn out to be a costly mistake for Scotland.

The Sustainable Development Commission Scotland has played a crucial role in helping Government departments work together to tackle the triple threats of climate change, economic downturn and inequality – as well as keeping a critical check on progress.

Commenting on the Commission’s 4th Annual Assessment, Juliet Swann, Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“This report clearly indicates that the Scottish Government can and should do better. We are over a year on from the passing of the Climate Change Act and less than a decade away from the 2020 target year and still nothing concrete has been delivered.

“To take just one element of the report: It is frankly shameful that more people are now living in fuel poverty than a year ago. As we debate the ins and outs of how the transport system has been hit by the freezing conditions, it is worth remembering that for some this cold spell will literally be a matter of life and death. Those living in fuel poverty decide daily whether to eat or heat. This is simply unacceptable.”

The Assessment also points out that transport policy is manifestly failing to deliver on commitments to tackle climate change and contribute to sustainable development.

Ms Swann continued:

“The £2.3bn that is estimated to be the cost of building the second Forth road bridge would probably pay to make every house in Scotland energy efficient twice over, moving the vulnerable out of fuel poverty and saving over £300 million per year in energy costs. This saving would in turn more than pay for the Sustainable Development Commission Scotland.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

Scottish Government is failing to future-proof the economy – Sustainable Development Commission Scotland press release 8 December 2010: www.sd-commission.org.uk/news.php?id=395

Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk