Politicians have been urged to be “honest about who will foot the bill” of meeting climate change targets, as a charity warns the costs should not be paid by the poorest in society. Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) said it welcomed the climate strikes set to take place across the world today but warned that the cost of moving to net zero emissions should not “fall heaviest on the poorest in society”. The organisation said that new smart, renewable energy technologies, which aim to cut carbon emissions, should be rolled out to the most vulnerable people first, given that more than half a million households in Scotland currently live in fuel poverty. He added: “In the energy sector, public and private investment in domestic energy efficiency and renewable technology should be rolled out in a way that benefit the most vulnerable first, especially with half a million households in Scotland living in fuel poverty. “There also needs to be honesty about who foots the bill for developing infrastructure which will let us meet climate targets. We can’t expect people who are already just about managing to support things like electric vehicle charging networks if it means paying more on their bills. Dr Stewart’s comments reflect the findings of a report published earlier this year by think tank Localis and SP Energy Networks. It warned that while “smart energy has huge implications for helping people out of fuel poverty” the benefits would only be felt if there was a “considered roll-out of the physical infrastructure needed to deliver the smart grid.” The report warned there was a risk that “areas which are already deprived being left behind more affluent places” adding “those in higher income areas could have a higher concentration of residents willing to invest in smart technologies. This in turn could lower bills in areas of high income – while having little impact on energy bills in neighbouring lower income areas. “In other words, the higher the income of an area, the greater the chances of reinvestment in energy infrastructure” which could “deepen existing socioeconomic differences.”
Scotsman 20th Sept 2019 read more »
The Scottish Government has ditched a flagship climate change commitment to ban landfill waste in Scotland by the end of 2021. Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has pushed the plan back by four years after admitting that councils and commercial operators were not ready. Opposition parties are now calling on ministers to “set out in detail” how the plan will be met by 2025 in line with the new target. Over 1 million tonnes of biodegradable waste is still finding its way into Scottish landfill, new figures revealed this week. It could have cost councils £1 billion over a ten–year period to export rubbish south of the border to comply with the ban, research earlier this year revealed. It comes after the Committee on Climate Change reinforced the importance of reducing reliance on landfill in recent advice. Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “The Government must set out in detail how it will meet the new 2025 target, without resorting to filling lorries with waste and sending them south of the border.”
Scotsman 19th Sept 2019 read more »
Roseanna Cunningham: It has been heartening to see such passion and strength of opinion being demonstrated over recent months – particularly by the next generation. We must all act now to safeguard their future. The growing recognition of the need for urgent action is welcome, not least because we all need to take action to respond to the global climate emergency. This must be a shared, national endeavour. Scotland is already a world leader in tackling climate change. We have already almost halved greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 while growing the economy, increasing employment and productivity. Now we are redefining what world leadership means. Setting out our response to the global climate emergency and a Green New Deal for Scotland are at the centre of our new Programme for Government and we are clear that Scotland will end its contribution to climate change, completely, within a generation. Our ambitious target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 – one of the toughest statutory targets in the world – set out in our new Climate Change Bill will achieve this, and I look forward to Parliament debating it next week. I need to be very clear about the significance of our transition to becoming a net-zero society. We cannot take a knee-jerk, piecemeal approach. Nor can Government do this alone. We all – governments, businesses, communities and individuals – need to work together to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change and seize the opportunities that this creates. That is why the Scottish Government is engaging with the public, businesses, industry, and the public sector to ensure that everyone’s thoughts and ideas feed into our approach. Tackling climate change at pace requires collaboration, a mutual understanding of the route ahead, and a vigour to achieve our goals. Most of all, it means everyone being part of the solution.
Herald 20th Sept 2019 read more »
SCOTTISH ministers should be more ambitious and bring forward a target to slash the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045, according to a poll of The Herald’s readers. The survey found 62 per cent of respondents backed adopting a more radical target date, while there was also support for banning cars from city centres and forcing landowners to plant forests. It comes as pupils across Scotland prepare to take part in another global climate strike today, as they continue to push for far-reaching change. Earlier this year, Nicola Sturgeon announced Scotland would seek to cut its carbon emissions to net-zero by 2045 – five years ahead of the rest of the UK. But the Scottish Greens have repeatedly argued this will be too late to prevent climate breakdown. Responding to The Herald’s poll, Mark Ruskell MSP said: “It’s clear that the public overwhelmingly support the government taking bolder action on the climate emergency, and we’ve published a Scottish Green New Deal that shows ministers how they can do that.
Herald 20th Sept 2019 read more »