Key targets about how to cut Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions delay ambitious action on climate change until 2013.

The targets laid before Parliament today, come on the same day as 17,000 people attend a climate justice summit in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

While the targets re-affirm Scotland’s commitment to a world-leading 42% cut by 2020, they put off the delivery of 3% per year annual reductions until into the next administration.

The targets are based on the influential UK Climate Change Committee (UKCCC) ‘business as usual’ projections for the next three years. While the government has gone marginally further than the UKCCC suggested, with a 0.5% reduction for 2011 and 2012, campaigners expressed dissapointment that this falls far short of the 3% they had been calling for.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Chief Executive Duncan McLaren said:

“We commend the Government for their determination to deliver 42% reductions by 2020 and to go marginally above the UK Climate Change Committee’s advice over the next 3 years. But they must recognise that the quicker they ramp up action the easier it will be to deliver this target, the lower cumulative emissions will be, and the easier it will be to avoid buying carbon offsets – with all the uncertainty and damaging side-effects they can cause.”

“They should also remember that efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can deliver multiple benefits as well as improving the health of our planet. Improving housing, and increasing public transport, walking and cycling, for example would deliver big health and social benefits as well as being good for job creation.”

The announcements coincide with the people’s summit on climate change in Cochabamba, Bolivia – the first ever global summit on climate change initiated by a government in league with social movements, indigenous peoples and other civil society actors.

The people’s summit in Cochabamba has been convened in direct response to the failure of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009 and has attracted up to 17,000 participants. Almost 100 Governments are also attending, including many who declined to sign up to the so-called ‘Copenhagen Accord’ in Denmark.

McLaren added: “The Cochabamba summit will be talking about climate justice, not carbon trading. Scotland’s 2020 targets and continued intention to avoid use of carbon offsets should be an inspiration to delegates, and help generate proposals that challenge the unfair and weak promises of the US and European Union enshrined in the Copenhagen Accord.” http://foe-scotland.org.uk/node/672

Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, who is in Cochabamba, said on his blog: “This summit stands in sharp contrast to the Copenhagen event in many ways. First, this is an assembly both of governments and peoples.

“Participants generally agree that this summit is a great opportunity for the false solutions to climate change to be fully exposed and the real solutions as well as the demands for climate justice to be clearly made.”


For media enquiries please contact:

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

Notes to Editors

World People’s Summit on Climate Change opens in Cochabamba – Blog post by Nnimmo Bassey

The Committee on Climate Change is an independent body established under the Climate Change Act to advise the UK Government on setting carbon budgets, and to report to Parliament on the progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Download the “Scotland’s path to a low-carbon economy” report

A dangerous distraction – Friend of the Earth briefing on carbon trading

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.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is part of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), a diverse, growing coalition of organisations campaigning on climate change. The SCCS Coalition has 60 Scottish members, representing more than 2 million supporters (40% of the Scottish population), ranging from environment and development groups to faith organisations, trade unions, student societies, care providers and many more.