Scots from across the length and breadth of the country gathered today at the Scottish Parliament (Thursday 25th October) to demonstrate their concern at the Scottish Government’s failure to meet the very first emissions target set under the Climate Change Act (Scotland).
The message to Alex Salmond and his Government was clear: Scotland’s claim to have ‘world-leading’ legislation is undermined by the first legally-binding target being missed, and there is insufficient action to get back on track.
The Scottish Government has failed to sufficiently use today’s draft Budget as an opportunity to turn things around and get Scotland back on track to meet future climate change targets, one of Scotland’s largest civil society coalitions has highlighted.
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) has said that despite the Government’s own admission that Scotland has already failed to reach its first greenhouse gas emission reduction target, today’s announcement shows it has not taken sufficiently seriously the need for strong action, despite some encouraging moves in the right direction.
Opinion piece in the Scotsman
Tackling climate change is fundamentally a matter of justice. The historical responsibility for causing climate change lies with western countries, including Scotland.
As we industrialised, we improved our standards of living, our health and our wealth. But our high-carbon lifestyles have created increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which are causing global temperatures to rise.
The announcement today of the Scottish Government's Climate Justice Fund was welcomed by the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition.
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland welcomes today’s announcement from John Swinney that an additional £13m over three years, compared to the Budget Bill published last month, will be allocated to sustainable and active travel. However, we note that this is still a cut on the funding available for this work in the current year.
Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said:
- Recent emission reductions due to recession, not government measures
- Emissions now rising, new government measures needed
An independent UK watchdog has today increased the pressure on the Scottish Government to amend the budget to ensure Scotland meets the targets set out in the Scottish Climate Change Act. 
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) has expressed major disappointment in the Scottish Government’s Budget Bill which has now been published.
The proposed Budget continues to ignore the need to fully fund the measures set out in the Government’s own plans to reduce Scotland’s emissions in line with the Scottish Climate Change Act. In particular, funding to improve and expand cycling and walking infrastructure is still set to be cut by a third while, at the same time, the roads budget will increase by 16%.
Scottish cyclists today gathered outside St Andrews House in Edinburgh to call on the Scottish Government to invest in cycling and walking and low carbon transport, and fully fund their own plans to meet Scotland's climate change targets.
The action was supported by cycling ace Chris Boardman MBE, Britain's most successful cyclist to date, although he wasn't able to be in Scotland for the event.
Chris Boardman said:
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland today expressed disappointment at the desperate lack of ambition contained within the UN climate agreement in Durban.
Despite the growing warning from scientists, the reality is that this will be woefully insufficient to avoid global temperatures rising by more than 2 degrees, as was committed to at the talks last year in Cancun.
Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said:
As he prepares to pack his suitcase and join the UK delegation at the COP17 climate talks in Durban, Stewart Stevenson MSP, today received a few extra items to take with him to South Africa.
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland presented the Minister for Environment and Climate Change with a ‘suitcase of hope’ including: