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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

SNP to Further Raise Climate Change Ambition

New Target Will Ensure Scotland maintains Global Leadership Role

The SNP manifesto will this week announce that a re-elected SNP Government will bring forward a new Climate Change Bill which will raise Scotland’s climate target from the current 42% cut in carbon emissions by 2020, to a new target of more than 50%.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Richard Dixon has said that in the week world leaders sign the climate change deal reached in Paris last year, the new target is “powerfully iconic” and “sends a strong signal to others to up their game.”

The exact level the new target will be set at will come further to consultation with the Scottish Government’s independent advisers, the UK Committee on Climate Change, and comes further to the latest official figures showing that by 2013 - seven years ahead of the 2020 target date - Scotland had cut its emissions by 38.4%.

In December last year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took Scotland’s call for tough action on climate change to the UN Climate talks in Paris. Christina Figueres, the head of the UN climate body the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has described Scotland’s approach as “exemplary”. Scotland’s current target and the SNP’s proposals for a new target compare to the UK target of a 35% cut in emissions by 2020, and the EU target of 40% cut in emissions by 2030. Emissions are measured against a base year of 1990. Commenting, Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod said: “Tackling climate change remains one of the defining global issues of our times and last year’s UN climate summit in Paris sent the clear message that all countries need to be more ambitious and act to cut emissions. I was also struck by many comments made at those talks about the positive example Scotland was setting. “It has not always been easy but Scotland has been a genuine world leader in the area of climate change and green energy and the latest evidence shows that we are well on track to exceed our 42% target. Given the increasing impact of climate change here in Scotland and worldwide, it is crucial that we continue to lead by example. So a re-elected SNP Government will increase our target. “We hope other parties will back this move and work constructively to ensure Scotland continues to lead on this great global challenge. We Also hope other countries will note Scotland’s increased ambition in this area and raise their own efforts to reduce emissions.” Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Richard Dixon added:

“This is a very welcome recognition of the importance of action on climate change. Promising to cut our emissions by half is powerfully iconic and would focus a new SNP government on the need to deliver on climate targets.

“In the coming week world leaders will sign the climate deal agreed in Paris in December. The Paris deal has yet to make any real difference to national plans on climate change and so Scotland aiming for 50% plus by 2020 sends a strong signal to others to up their game.”

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