Reacting to news that the SNP will promise to increase Scotland’s 2020 climate target from 42% to more than 50%, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“This is a very welcome recognition of the importance of action on climate change. Promising to cut our emissions by half is powerfully iconic and would focus a new SNP government on the need to deliver on climate targets.

“In the coming week world leaders will sign the climate deal agreed in Paris in December. The Paris deal has yet to make any real difference to national plans on climate change so Scotland aiming for 50% plus by 2020 sends a strong signal to others to up their game.

“The government has struggled to meet annual targets, so this strong pledge on climate change must be matched by strong proposals for action in the rest of the SNP manifesto on more efficient homes, shifting transport priorities and reducing emissions from waste.

“The commitment to ‘more than' 50% is important because, if the accounting system changes to fully allow for the closure of Longannet and the growth of renewables in Scotland the advice from the climate committee will no doubt push the target up beyond 50%.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. The new manifesto commitment was revealed in a Scotland on Sunday exclusive: http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/energy/snp-to-raise-bar-on-carbon-emissions-with-50-cut-by-2020-1-4102438
2. Tomorrow night there will be an online hustings on climate change issues, organised by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/events/climate-day-national-online-debate-holyrood-2016
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.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk