Scottish Government told to 'up its game' in tackling climate crisis
The Scottish Government has been told it needs to “up its game” when it comes to combatting climate change, according to a new independent assessment.
The UK Government’s climate advisory board, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), has concluded that “action to adapt to critical impacts such as wetter winters and rising sea levels has stalled, posing risks to people, infrastructure and business”.
Over the last 30 years, the average temperature in Scotland has risen by 0.5⁰C, Scottish winters have become five per cent wetter and the sea level around the Scottish coast has increased by up to 3cm each decade.
The CCC says “further climate change in Scotland is now inevitable”, and has called on the Scottish Government to do much more to translate its ambitions into action.
Chair of the CCC’s adaptation committee, Baroness Brown, said: “Without a renewed sense of urgency, the significant changes we are already seeing in Scotland today will have impacts on all areas of Scottish society and nature in the years to come.
“Scotland needs to up its game by kickstarting delivery; introducing clear, measurable targets; improving monitoring and evaluation of climate risks and ensuring greater accountability for government - it has some examples of good practice to build on.”
Responding to the report, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, said: “We are pleased that the Committee supports our vision for a climate resilient Scotland. However, we accept that more needs to be done. This is a global challenge and we are not alone in needing to accelerate progress.
“We will continue to deliver the 170 policies and proposals in our current adaptation programme and also look for additional actions we can take to address the highest priority areas identified by the committee.”
Scottish Labour’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport spokesperson Colin Smyth said the report was “a damning indictment of the SNP-Green government’s atrocious record on the environment”, while the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ energy spokesperson Liam McArthur said that “when it comes to tackling climate change, the SNP are all hot air and the Green party have wilted”.
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