'Too early to make an assessment' on progress made on climate change plan, says Roseanna Cunningham

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 1 November 2018 in News

With the climate change plan released less than a year ago, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment warned it was too early to make a judgement on the progress made in its implementation

It is “simply too early to make an assessment” on progress made in implementing the Scottish Government’s climate change plan, Roseanna Cunningham has said.

The Scottish Government has released its climate change monitoring report, made up of 85 indicators aimed at keeping track of how fast Scotland is moving towards achieving the aims in reducing emissions in transport, agriculture and energy.

But with the climate change plan released less than a year ago, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Climate Change wrote that it was too early to make a judgement on the progress made in 19 out of its 29 ‘policy output indicators’.

Meanwhile six of the 29 indicators were found to be on track and the remaining four could not be assessed due to a lack of data.

The report said: “It has been less than a year since the Plan itself was published, so this first annual monitoring report represents a baseline for future assessments of progress.

“For the majority of the indicators, it is currently still too early to make an assessment of whether these are on track. A comprehensive assessment of whether the plan itself is fully on track is not therefore possible at this stage.”

The Scottish Government’s climate strategy came under fire from the Scottish Green Party, with Mark Ruskell warning: "The recent IPCC report was clear that we must act faster and cut emissions further, yet the Scottish Government are not adjusting course, showing how detached from reality they are. Their plans represent a slowing down in the rate of action when we need to be speeding up.”

He said: "The changes we make now to our energy, transport and farming systems are crucial for delivering hope for the future. We simply cannot afford to wait. It's galling that ministers are wasting time with meaningless reports when they know perfectly well which policies will make the difference - they should be getting on with implementing them.

"It's increasingly clear that as Holyrood scrutinises the new Climate Change Bill, we need an early target for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as this will drive the change we need. We cannot rely on SNP ministers whose feeble excuses are angering a Scottish public who want action now on the biggest crisis society faces."

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