Scotland will become one of the first countries to achieve a 100% reduction in carbon emissions, Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has said. The new Climate Change Bill will immediately set a target of a 90% reduction by 2050, which the UK Committee on Climate Change (UK CCC) states is currently “at the limit of feasibility.” The draft Bill sets out that the Scottish Government intends to go further still and achieve a 100% reduction in emissions, known as ‘net-zero’, as soon as possible. Ministers will be legally required to keep the net-zero target date under review by seeking expert advice on the issue every five years. The target date will become legally-binding, subject to the consent of the Scottish Parliament, as soon as there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate the date is credible and achievable. As well as increasing long term ambition, the new Bill also includes the most ambitious interim targets in the world, as well as stretching annual targets for every year between now and 2050. This means action will need to increase immediately, across every sector of the Scottish economy. It will also require action by individuals, communities and businesses – as well as government.
Scottish Government 24th May 2018 read more »
The Scottish government has stopped short of committing to a target for Scotland to become carbon-neutral by 2050. Its draft Climate Change Bill, just published, sets a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by the middle of the century. Although the bill pledges to achieve a 100% cut, no date is set for the target. Environmental groups say ministers are missing an opportunity. Tom Ballantine, chairman of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “It’s hugely disappointing that the Scottish government has failed to live up to its own rhetoric on global climate change leadership, by failing to set a net zero emissions target in the Climate Change Bill published today. “The government claims Scotland will be one of the first countries to achieve zero emissions, but the bill does not commit to that. It se ts a target of only a 90% reduction in emissions by 2050. “By failing to ally with the global momentum towards zero emissions, led by countries like France, Sweden and New Zealand, Scotland is missing a huge opportunity to end its contribution to climate change in a generation, attract clean investment and retain its position as a leader on the global stage.”
BBC 24th May 2018 read more »
Scotland has announced what it said would be the toughest climate change legislation in the world, with a binding target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 90 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050. The new target will be tougher than the previous legally binding goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 compared with 1990. The UK government’s current target is also to cut emissions by 80 per cent. The Scottish government said it would have a new interim target for 2020 of a 56 per cent cut compared with the existing goal of 42 per cent.
FT 24th May 2018 read more »
New climate change laws are ‘timid’ and ‘hugely disappointing’: Independent advisers to the government have said the 2050 target is “at the very limit of feasibility” without new technological innovations. But the new bill has been widely condemned for a lack of ambition and failure to deliver on global commitments set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Critics say the new targets look good on paper but in reality, due to changes in the way emissions are accounted for, do not represent a step up from existing intentions. “It’s hugely disappointing that the Scottish Government has failed to live up to its own rhetoric on global climate change leadership by failing to set a net zero emissions target in the Climate Change Bill,” said Tom Ballantine, chair of the environmental coalition Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. “Scotland is missing a huge opportunity to end its contribution to climate change in a generation, attract clean investment and retain its position as a leader on the global stage.” He urged MSPs from all parties to push for stronger targets – net-zero by 2050 at the latest and 77 per cent by 2030. The Scottish Greens are calling for tougher action, claiming the “timid” new aims would actually see a slowdown in progress towards climate goals. They say zero emissions should be achieved by 2040. MSP Mark Ruskell said: “This timid decision shows how weak the SNP are on the climate crisis. They’re making excuses but they should be seizing the opportunity. Science says we need strong action now.”
Scotsman 25th May 2018 read more »
The i newspaper 24th May 2018 read more »
The National 25th May 2018 read more »
Guardian 24th May 2018 read more »
Independent 24th May 2018 read more »
Business Green 24th May 2018 read more »
Editorial: Climate change is leading to a technological revolution and Scotland should be at the forefront of it. The pace of technological change seems to be accelerating fast. Little over a century ago, powered flight had not been invented. Since then, we have taken to the skies, travelled to space and the moon, and sent probes to Mars. It is hard to imagine a world without the internet, just two decades or so after it went global. Further radical transformations as a result of artificial intelligence are on the way. Sometimes it can all feel a little overwhelming. But there is one revolution that is being driven not just by human ingenuity, but by necessity. The need to switch from fossil fuels to a zero-carbon economy to prevent dangerous climate change is a clear imperative that the world has belatedly come to realise. So the pace of change will be quicker than we are used to dealing with and so, for some, it may be even more overwhelming. The Scottish Government yesterday set out a bill to require emissions in 2050 to be 10 per cent of those in 1990, although it stressed it would strive to hit net zero emissions “as soon as possible”. There will be those who will say this is too quick, while others complain it is too slow. But, while the pace is subject to debate, let there be no doubt about the direction of travel. And, just as the UK stole a march on the rest of the world at the dawn of the coal-powered Industrial Revolution, being at the forefront of the renewable revolution holds out the prospect of considerable economic rewards – on top of the benefits for the climate. As has been pointed out, Scotland is extremely well placed to both adapt to and take advantage of this enormous change because of the vast amounts of wind and wave energy on our doorstep. Last year saw the first day Britain had gone without electricity produced by coal since the 1880s, electric cars are here, hybrid and electric planes are coming. So Scotland should be ambitious, it should be a world-leader, out of self-interest if nothing else. We also need, with some urgency, to build industries to provide a long-term replacement for North Sea oil, which is still extremely important to this country’s economy but which will gradually diminish in the coming decades. Unveiling the draft Climate Change Bill, Scottish environment minister Roseanna Cunningham described the fight against climate change as “one of the defining challenges of our age”. We must rise to it.
Scotsman 25th May 2018 read more »