Scottish Government urged "Get Your Act Together"
Environmental activists gathered at Parliament to urge more action to cut greenhouse gases in Scotland.
Members of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, a coalition of groups including WWF, Friends of the Earth and Oxfam, organised “Get Your Act Together”, lobbying the Scottish Government to improve its record on efforts to tackle climate change.
This week Paul Wheelhouse, Environment and Climate Change Minister, confirmed in a statement to Parliament that the first of the yearly targets had been missed towards cutting emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.
The failure was blamed in part on a bad winter.
Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “The First Minister is quick to champion Scotland’s climate change legislation and hold it up as a world-leading example. However, the failure to meet the first target set by the Scottish Climate Change Act demonstrates a lack of action by the Scottish Government to reduce emissions, and undermines the example they claim to have set.
“This isn’t good enough. Thousands of Scots campaigned for, and celebrated, this legislation. We want to see action on climate change from our politicians, not just rhetoric. It’s time for them to follow through on what was actually promised.”
The coalition has called for measures in the next Report on Proposals and Policies, which is due to be released by the end of the year, including an increased concentration on low carbon transport and housing.
But Paul Wheelhouse defended the government’s record and said it was committed to creating a low carbon economy.
He said: “The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to meeting our climate change targets and we are on the right trajectory to achieve this – Scotland’s emissions have fallen by 24.3 per cent from 1990 ahead of the rest of the UK. We are over half way to achieving our ambitious targets of reducing emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.
“The latest draft budget outlines a substantial package of funding – £411.27 million for 2013/14 and £387.14 million for 2014/15 – to support measures to drive down emissions including the growth of renewable energy, investment in homes and communities, reducing the impact of transport, and our Zero Waste Scotland programme. In the past week alone we’ve announced plans to invest £24 million to make NHS hospitals and facilities more energy efficient and £1.7 million towards the restoration of Scotland’s peatland landscape as part of the Scottish Government’s Green Stimulus Package.”