Ministers called to Parliament to explain climate change plan deemed ‘not credible’

In an unprecedented move, six Scottish Government Ministers [1] have been called to Parliament to explain their plans to reduce Scotland’s emissions - plans which the diverse Stop Climate Chaos coalition has branded ‘not credible’.

Four Parliamentary Committees are currently scrutinising the draft Low Carbon Scotland: Report on Proposals and Policies 2013-2027 [3].  The document could be the blueprint for how Government will ensure that its legally binding targets to reduce emissions, as set out in the Scottish Climate Change Act of 2009, can be met.  This is particularly important given that the first emissions target set under that Act was missed and with emissions from housing and transport higher now than they were in 1990.

The Committees have already heard from a range of stakeholders, most of whom have expressed concern about the credibility of the plan.  Professor Pete Smith, a renowned climate scientist from Aberdeen University and one of the authors of the global Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, dismissed some of the Government’s proposals for reducing emissions as ‘wishful thinking’[3]. 

Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said:

“Today we will hear Government Ministers explain how this plan can achieve our climate targets.  We will be particularly keen to hear how Transport Minister, Keith Brown MSP, hopes to reduce emissions from transport without a single Scottish policy to reduce emissions from this sector within the plan.

Given that transport accounts for a quarter of Scotland’s emissions, and emissions from this sector are higher now than they were 20 years ago, this needs to be addressed.  The plan must be revised to include firm transport policies, including those to reduce the amount of traffic on our roads.

This plan is incredibly important.  It sets out Government’s ambitions for the kind of Scotland we’ll be living in in 15 years time.  The plan is a critical test of the Government’s commitment to and credibility on the environmental agenda and will decide if Scotland continues as a world leader on climate change. 

The Parliament came together in 2009 to unanimously vote through the Scottish Climate Change Act.  We look forward to the Parliamentary Committees again working together to recommend that Ministers up their game over the coming weeks and come forward with a revised plan of which we can all be proud.” 

ends

Notes to editors:

[1] Keith Brown MSP (27/02/13), Margaret Burgess MSP (27/02/13), Paul Wheelhouse MSP (27/02/13), Richard Lochhead MSP (28/02/13), Fergus Ewing MSP (06/03/13), Derek MacKay MSP (27/02/13)

[2] Low Carbon Scotland, the Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP): http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0041/00413150.pdf  

[3] Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, 6th February 2013: http://bit.ly/13dOlB0

[4] Evidence on transport from a panel of witnesses to the Infrastructure & Capital Investment Committee, 20th February 2013: http://bit.ly/XufmJn.

[5] Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is a diverse coalition of more than 60 organisations campaigning together on climate change, including environment, faith and development organisations, trade and student unions and community groups. www.stopclimatechaos.org/scotland

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