‘Now not the right time’ to publish climate change plan, says net zero secretary Mairi McAllan
Net zero secretary Màiri McAllan has blamed “financial and political volatility” for the delay of the Scottish Government’s new climate change plan.
Speaking at the first day of Holyrood’s Climate Action Summit 2023, the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition was asked about the decision to delay the plan, which will set out the next steps towards meeting Scotland’s emission targets.
McAllan said that the original publication of the first draft, which was due this month, had to be delayed due to “financial and political volatility”, adding that “now is not the right time”.
The Scottish Government has not given a new publication date, but McAllan said the legally binding deadline was the end of the next year.
She reiterated that “the UK’s decisions”, which she yesterday blamed for creating uncertainty for businesses and households, “has made this all the more difficult” to achieve the Scottish Government’s planned publication date.
In a meeting with climate leaders this morning, she said the response to the decision was that of “disappointment”, but she said they urged the government “to take the time to make sure it is the best it can be” and ensure there is “enough money behind it”, and to be in “as stable a political footing as possible”.
Groups including Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, Oxfam and the independent Climate Change Committee have expressed disappointment at the delay of the plan.
The decision to delay comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pushed back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035 and changed the rules on the phase out of gas and oil-fired boilers.
Sunak said his government remained "absolutely unequivocal" about sticking to the 2050 net zero target.