Scotland can stop making global warming worse

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Environmental charities say the Scottish Government must do more to ensure Scotland stops contributing to global warming by 2050

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5th July 2017 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Scotland should introduce new climate change legislation that puts a halt to the nation's contribution to global warming. 

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), a leading coalition of charities, says current Scottish Government plans for a new climate change bill do not go far enough and that existing plans mean Scotland will be making the problem worse for the next 30 years.

The SCCS has launched the campaign Act for Our Future to call for Scotlands new climate change bill to create both world-leading ambition and the policies required for delivery. 

The coalition says a bold  bill would create jobs, improve health and reduce poverty at home, while also ensuring Scotland plays its part in helping the poorest people in the world cope with the effects of climate change. 

Last month the first minister committed Scotland to living up to the spirit and the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement through new legislation.

However, the coalition says current Scottish Government plans fall well short of the level needed if Scotland is to be at the forefront of delivering the international agreement signed by 197 countries 18 months ago.

Dr Richard Dixon of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said: “Climate change is already affecting people and nature, here in Scotland and around the world. Time is running out if Scotland is to lead the way to a zero carbon future, but with real action and ambition, a bold new Climate Change bill can change that.

"A bill that truly delivers on the Paris Agreement must be one that says, by 2050 at the latest Scotland will no longer be contributing to the global problem of climate change, and that steps-up action in the short-term to cut emissions from our homes, our travel and our food."

The coalition highlighted that research has shown the Scottish public back calls for strong climate change action. The campaign will focus on how reducing carbon emissions can create jobs, improve public health and reduce poverty.

In particular, SCCS says that in order for the new Climate Bill to match the ambition of the Paris Agreement, it must:

  • set a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest, and a reduction of 77% by 2030
  • ensure that future finance budgets are consistent with our climate targets 
  • commit to actions that cut emissions and deliver a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous Scotland by:
  • making all homes efficient and warm: ensure that all homes have at least Energy Performance Rating C by 2025
  • cleaner transport: phase out the sale of new fossil fuel cars by 2030 to reduce emissions, clean up air pollution and improve the nation’s health
  • greener farming: set a nitrogen budget for Scotland by 2020. 

Just last week, it was announced Scotland has reached a record high in renewable electricity generation - a move environment groups says it must capitalise on.