UK watchdog warns of challenges ahead for climate targets

By staff writers
12 Mar 2013

An independent UK watchdog has today (12 March 2013) recognised the Scottish Government has made progress in meeting the targets set out in the Scottish Climate Change Act, but warns further challenges lie ahead.

Meeting 2020 climate change goals will be reliant on the European Union moving to a 30 per cent target, it says.

Responding to the publication of the UK Committee on Climate Change (UKCCC) second assessment of the progress Scotland has made towards reaching its emission targets, Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: "While we welcome the areas where progress to meet targets has been made, we share the concerns that the UK CCC latest report flags up of ‘considerable uncertainty’ in the Scottish Government’s draft climate plan, and the need to increase the rate of policy implementation if we are to deliver our climate targets."

The independent watchdog emphasises the continued reliance Ministers place on the EU increasing its climate ambition, following previous warnings that the government needs to come up with more action here in Scotland.

The report echoes the strong evidence heard by four committees in the Scottish Parliament that the Government’s draft plan does not provide the step change in effort the Climate Change Committee has previously called for "and is too reliant on weak proposals, rather than strong commitments to action."

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2009. It includes an emissions target, set for the year 2050, for a reduction of at least 80 per cent from the baseline year of 1990.

Annual targets for greenhouse gas emissions must also be set, following consultation with the relevant advisory bodies. As of January 2011, public sector bodies in Scotland must comply with the new guidelines set out by the Scottish Government.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (www.stopclimatechaos.org/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.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report is available in full from from the CCC’s website (www.theccc.org.uk/publications).

The CCC (www.theccc.org.uk) is an independent statutory body established under the Climate Change Act to advise the UK Government on setting carbon budgets, and to report to Parliament on the progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

* 'Low Carbon Scotland, the Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP)' is available here (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document): http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0041/00413150.pdf

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