42% emissions target: Letter to Editor

The Scottish Government should be commended for reaffirming its commitment to meet the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by 2020, which they did in response to yesterday’s report by the UK Committee on Climate Change.

This is the goal the Scottish Parliament set down in their world-leading climate act of June 2009, which thousands of people across Scotland campaigned hard for, and which was endorsed unanimously by all parties in the Scottish Parliament. Now we must all do everything we can to help them fulfil it.
In reaffirming this target, the Scottish Government has taken a global lead on climate change and committed to a greener and more prosperous Scotland. It has also made a moral promise to the developing world, where the poorest people and those least responsible for climate change are struggling to cope with its impacts.
A target of at least 42 per cent is what scientific evidence tells us offers the best chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. Key scientists, some of whom have signed this letter, wrote to the Scottish Government back in June last year to advise them of this. Their conclusions are based upon an overwhelming scientific consensus formed upon the widest possible evidence base and we are glad that the Scottish Government agrees with them.
As business leaders, scientists, representatives of civil society and trade unions, we see this commitment to cut our emissions as a real opportunity for Scotland. We have a great combination of natural resources and some of the world’s leading experts in terms of technology and climate science to achieve it.
By setting the right ambition, we have placed ourselves on the path to being a world leader in the low carbon economy of the future. The potential for lasting investment and job creation is significant and, if we take the right steps now, our economic recovery could have solid foundations for the years to come.
But climate change is not just about science or economics. It’s also about international justice. With this strong target and world-leading Act, Scotland can also live up to its long-standing traditions of justice and fairness for all.
However, this isn’t something that can wait to 2020. The need for urgent action is now. We all have a responsibility to redouble our efforts to cut our emissions in a sustainable manner, and work together to make Scotland the true world leader on climate change it has the potential to be.
Signed by:
Ian Marchant, Chief Executive, Scottish and Southern Energy
Prof Jan Bebbington, Vice Chair, Sustainable Development Commission, Scotland
Jo Bucci, Chief Executive, People’s Postcode Lottery
Brendan Dick, Director, BT Scotland
Gordon Grant, Director, INEOS Manufacturing Scotland
Ronnie Hinds, Chief Executive, Fife Council
Graham Hutcheon, Operations Director, Edrington Group
David Lee, Media Consultant
Simon Pepper OBE, LLD, Independent Climate Change Adviser
Lady Susan Rice, Managing Director, Lloyds Banking Group Scotland
Grahame Smith, General Secretary, STUC
Brian Soutar, Chief Executive, Stagecoach
Michael Tracey, Managing Director, William Tracy Group
James Withers, Chief Executive, National Farmers Union Scotland
Jane Wood, Chief Executive, Scottish Business in the Community
Dr Dave S Reay, Senior Lecturer in Carbon Management, Edinburgh University
Dr Steven A Gillespie, University Teacher in Environmental Sustainability and Carbon Management, University of Glasgow
Professor Peter Smith, Royal Society-Wolfson Professor of soils and global change, FSB, FRSE, University of Aberdeen
Philip Andrew Wookey, Professor of Ecosystem Ecology, University of Stirling
Mike Robinson, Chair, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland
Dr Richard Dixon, Director, WWF Scotland
Liam Burns, President, National Union of Students Scotland
Dave Watson, Scottish Organiser, Unison Scotland
Duncan McLaren, Chief Executive, Friends of the Earth Scotland
John Riley, Chairman, Scottish Action on Climate Change
Colin Howden, Director, Transform Scotland
Kathy Galloway, Head of Christian Aid Scotland
Tom Brock, Chief Executive, Scottish Seabird Centre
Liz Murray, Head of Scottish Campaigns, World Development Movement
Andrew Warren, Director, Association for the Conservation of Energy
Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland
Stuart Housden, Director, RSPB Scotland
Right Rev William Hewitt, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
Lynne Paterson, Director, Tearfund Scotland
Revd Dave Bookless, Founding Director, A Rocha UK
Kate Mavor, Chief Executive, National Trust for Scotland
Dave du Feu, Lead Organiser, Spokes
Andrew Fairburn, Policy and Communications Manager, Woodland Trust Scotland
Peter Macdonald, Leader of the Iona Community
Martin Sime, Chief Executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
Rose Caldwell, Executive Director, Concern Worldwide (UK)
Peter Hawkins, Chair CTC Scotland
John P Summers OBE, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful
Rachel Nunn, Programme Manager, Going Carbon Neutral Stirling

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