STOP CLIMATE CHAOS SCOTLAND PRESS RELEASE, sent by Friends of the Earth Scotland

The Scottish Government today unveiled their Climate Change Plan which details their policies and proposals to enable Scotland to meet its climate emissions reduction targets in the period 2018-2032. The Plan is an obligation under the 2009 Climate Act and builds on a draft published more than a year ago.

Tom Ballantine, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Chair commented,
“This Climate Change Plan still doesn’t deliver the detailed policies or the necessary ambition to drive a just transition to a zero carbon Scotland. The significant steps forward in transport that we welcomed in last year’s Programme for Government are undermined by steps backwards in this Plan.

“The many suggestions for improvements from MSPs and several Parliamentary committees have been largely overlooked. Those MSPs should use the upcoming Climate Change Bill as an opportunity to fix the significant shortcomings in this Plan.”

Ballantine continued,

“In areas such as reducing emissions from our homes the government has significantly decreased ambition from its first draft. Particularly short-sighted is the failure to put in place any credible plan to help farmers to reduce their climate impacts, despite the fact that agriculture and land use now account for almost a quarter of our emissions. The lack of progress made by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for farming on issues like soil testing and managing our nitrogen fertiliser use is deeply disappointing. This Climate Plan is a missed opportunity to deliver a progressive, sustainable and successful economy for Scotland.”

“The upcoming Climate Bill must address the huge untapped potential for ambitious new policies that will deliver multiple benefits for the economy, public health and our environment. The urgency of climate change requires the Scottish Government to set strong new targets in this Bill, including increased action before 2030 which will put us on a path to zero emissions by 2050.”

“In Scotland and around the world, people are already feeling the impacts of a changing climate, from increased storms and wildfires to floods and droughts. It is often those least responsible for historic emissions, and the least able to cope, who are bearing the brunt of catastrophic events. Scotland, a fossil fuel producing nation, has a particular duty to reduce emissions and join other leaders in bringing about the required urgent global action.”

The Scottish Government is due to unveil their new Climate Bill – which will necessitate an updated Climate Change Plan – before summer 2018. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland are calling for the Climate Bill to introduce a target of zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and 77% by 2030, backed by the action to realise it.

Notes to Editors

  1. Tom Ballantine from SCCS is available for broadcast interview.
  2. The Climate Change Plan was published today: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/02/8867
  3. The Scottish Government is preparing a new Climate Bill which will be revealed before summer 2018. The public consultation in summer 2017 saw over 19,000 people respond calling for a net zero emissions target by 2050 at the latest and a suite of policies to help achieve this aim http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/news/2017/12/18/huge-majority-call-zero-emissions-2050-target-scotland
  4. New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Iceland have already committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. The European Parliament has also recommended that Europe as a whole reaches net-zero by 2050.
  5. ​Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is a diverse coalition of organisations campaigning on climate change, including environment, active travel, faith and development organisations, trade and student unions and community groups: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org