Get your Act Together! February 2013 MSP action

This action is now closed.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland supporters lobbied hard for the Climate Change (Scotland) Act which sets legally binding greenhouse gas emissions targets, and we’ve been keeping an eye on how the Scottish Government has been performing ever since.

Many of you have helped us with this, including coming along to the mass lobby at the Scottish Parliament last October. Thank you for that. What we’re asking you to help with now follows on directly from that work.

We would encourage people across Scotland who are concerned about Scotland’s action on climate change to meet with their MSPs, or send them a letter outlining those concerns, in the next three weeks - so before the end of February 2013. 

The focus of the meeting or letter will be the Scottish Government’s draft climate action plan Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting our Emissions Reduction Targets 2013-2027 (sometimes also referred to as the Report on Proposals and Policies 2, or RPP2, and which follows on from RPP1 which was published in March 2011). 

Why are we asking you to contact your MSPs now?

The Scottish Government failed to meet its first target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in 2010.  Last week it published Low Carbon Scotland, its second climate action plan, setting out how it aims to meet its emissions reduction targets between now and 2027, as agreed to unanimously by the Scottish Parliament in the 2009 Scottish Climate Change Act. 

Disappointingly, the plan was really just a re-statement of existing policies, with very little new effort included. The plan is worryingly lacking in ambition and misses the great opportunities and benefits for the economy, society and the wider environment to be gained from a transition to a low carbon economy.  To put it simply, we don’t believe that the plan will deliver the greenhouse gas emissions reductions that Scotland is committed to. 

When should you contact your MSPs?

There’s a window of opportunity now to improve Low Carbon Scotland.  The plan is currently being scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament - firstly by several parliamentary committees and then to full parliament. By contacting MSPs now, we hope to put enough pressure on them to improve the action plan as it goes through this parliamentary process.  To have the best impact, please write to, or better still visit in person, your MSPs in the next three weeks.

How can you find out who your MSPs are?

If you go to www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps.aspx and put in your postcode, you’ll be able to see contact details of your constituency and regional MSPs.  You can also phone the Scottish Parliament on 0131 348 5000 and they’ll give you that information too.

Remember, your MSPs represent you in Parliament. It is their job to listen to what you, as their constituent, have to say on the issues that you care about.

Issues and questions that you could raise with your MSPs.

Please call on your MSPs to ensure that Low Carbon Scotland contains policies ambitious enough to ensure that Scotland never misses a climate target again. Your MSPs can do this by using their vote on a committee (if they are a member of the relevant committee) or by contributing to the parliamentary debates and full vote in the debating chamber.

Two general things to raise in your letter or visit are:

  1. That a shift from ‘proposals’ to ‘policies’ is vital to ensure that action is taken and targets aren’t missed.  The difference between proposals and policies is the difference between suggestions of things that might happen in the future and actions which Government has committed to and which are funded;
     
  2. That effort in the early years of the time period (of 2013-2027) is crucial and action must not be delayed.

And some specific points that you might like to raise are:

  • Proposals relating to cycling and walking, car clubs and travel planning urgently need to be translated into policies;
  • A full roll-out of transport demand management  measures (such as such as parking management, workplace parking levies, or road user charging)  must be included in order to reduce the volume of traffic on Scotland’s roads and encourage a shift to sustainable transport;
  • A 'step change' in improving the energy efficiency of housing stock is needed and Low Carbon Scotland must require regulations for minimum energy efficiency standards to be introduced by 2014, with standards in place by 2015, or 2016 at the latest.

Thank you again for your willingness to take action on this.  It’s really important work.  Please do let us know what response you get from your MSPs.  We’d be really grateful if you could forward responses to Gail Wilson at Stop Climate Chaos Scotland: gail@stopclimatechaosscotland.org

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