THE Scottish Government’s flagship climate change Bill faces near certain defeat in Holyrood tomorrow, after the Greens said they couldn’t back the targets set by SNP ministers. It’s unlikely too that Labour and the LibDems will support the legislation. Though there’s support for the Bill’s aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2045, the interim target of reducing carbon emission by 70% by 2030 is not ambitious enough for the three opposition parties. The Greens say unless the Government up this target to 80% then they cannot in “good conscience” support the legislation. Last night there was little movement from the SNP administration on this key demand. Defeat would be deeply embarrassing for the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon put climate change at the heart of programme for Government and earlier this month Glasgow was named as the location of the crucial COP26 climate conference in 2020. Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell said there was widespread support for the 80% target. He said: “Climate scientists have been clear that we have just a decade to turn this around. Championing eye-catching targets that won’t bite for decades while continuing to spend millions on new motorways and back maximum extraction of fossil fuels just won’t cut it anymore.
The National 24th Sept 2019 read more »
Scotsman 23rd Sept 2019 read more »
Richard Dixon: Tomorrow all of our MSPs get to debate the final form of the new Climate Bill. Their decisions will send it on its way to the Queen to become law. The last time Parliament voted on a climate law was in 2009. The hopes of most of the 40,000 people who took part in the Scottish climate strikes on Friday hang on a few hours of debate about a number of rather dry amendments. The final Act could be great but it is much more likely to be a mixed bag of good things and lack of short-term ambition. There are lots of good detailed measures in the draft Bill from both the government and individual MSPs. An example is a commitment to take expert advice on the value of the aviation multiplier. This obscure concept is very important indeed. The aviation multiplier is a number you multiply emissions from planes by to allow for the fact that they cause more damage at height than the same emissions on the ground. Although the government was forced by the 2009 Act to use a multiplier, they immediately set it at one, so eliminating its usefulness. When the provisions in the new Bill oblige them to ask what the value should be they will be told to make it at least two. All emissions from flying will suddenly, quite rightly, become twice as big as previously, focusing proper attention on how huge a problem aviation really is. Another important step forward is the commitment for Scotland to have no net emissions by 2045. We would have preferred 2040 but this is still a very important, long-term signal of serious intent on climate change, and one of the best climate commitments in the world. Sadly the 2030 target of a 70 per cent reduction is another story. What we do in the next decade is much more important than where we are aiming in the long term. A strong short-term target drives strong action, a weak target blocks action. If emissions end up where we expect in 2020 the 2009 Climate Act would mean we had to reduce emissions by 67.5 per cent by 2030, so the government’s proposed 70 per cent – an extra 2.5 per centover the next decade – is hardly the spur to radical action this time of officially-declared Climate Emergency obviously requires.
Scotsman 24th Sept 2019 read more »
MSPs are to create a dedicated citizens assembly on tackling climate change. Holyrood is expected to pass a last-minute Green amendment to the Scottish Government’s climate change emissions Bill when it comes to its final parliamentary vote tomorrow. The Climate Change Bill sets a target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2045, with a 70 per cent reduction by 2030. However there are criticisms that this is not fast enough. Labour are pushing for a 75% reduction in emissions by 2030, while the Greens want 80%. The SNP are under particular pressure to go further since Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency at her party conference in May. The Citizens Assembly proposal was tabled by MSP Mark Ruskell after Extinction Rebellion protestors chained themselves to the outside of the Scottish Parliament to demand far more “radical” action on climate change. Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: “In June Extinction Rebellion challenged each of the political parties. The Greens were challenged to deliver a climate emergency citizen’s assembly. “It’s vital that we get people’s voices into the debate about how we tackle the climate emergency, so I’m delighted that my colleague Mark Ruskell has been able to bring forward proposals to deliver this.
Herald 24th Sept 2019 read more »