Concerns have been raised today over the funding of the Scottish Government’s measures to meet climate change targets in a report published by the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee.
The committee welcomes the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Scotland: Draft Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP), and the significant amount of the work it has undertaken in setting out policies and identifying proposals to meet emissions reductions by 2020 as required by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.
However, the committee believes it is time to turn proposals into real actions. To ensure climate change targets are reached, the committee believes there should have been more alignment between the Draft Budget 2011-12 and the RPP, and more time for effective parliamentary scrutiny. This point was also made by the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.
The committee accepts this year’s Draft Budget covers one year only and acknowledges the RPP requires funding for the next 10 to 20 years. However, it considers it imperative that successive draft budgets are fully aligned with future RPPs to represent a realistic picture of what can be achieved and how climate targets can be met.
Committee Convener Patrick Harvie MSP said:
“It is clear to the committee that a lot of work has been done to get us where we are today on how we respond to climate change. However, it is time to start acting on not only the delivery of existing policies, but on bringing forward new measures. Otherwise there is a real risk emission reduction targets will not be met.
“We are also concerned by the lack of clarity regarding funding of the RPP and the draft budget 2011-12 doesn’t help in this regard. Proposals and policies across all sectors of Scottish society have been included in the RPP yet we do not know if there is sufficient funding for these measures or in some cases, what funding mechanisms would be used“.
The Scottish Government published Low Carbon Scotland: The Draft Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP) on 17 November 2010. It was published alongside the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2011-12 and associated documents including a carbon assessment of the Draft Budget.
The RPP is required under section 35 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. It sets out the proposals and policies which the Scottish Government considers will assist it in meeting its annual targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to 2022.
Under the 2009 Act, Scottish Ministers must have regard to the views of the parliament, or committee(s) of the Parliament, on the draft version of the RPP before a final version of the report is laid. The Act specifies a “period for Parliamentary consideration” of 60 days.
The Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee was designated as lead committee in consideration on the RPP. In addition, the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee agreed to consider specific energy-related aspects of the RPP as part of its wider scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2011-12 and to report its findings to this committee. The committee is grateful to the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee for providing valuable input to this report.
You can now get in touch with the Parliament by text message. Our interactive service enables you to get the name of your MSP by sending your postcode, lets you ask questions about the Parliament and its work, and enables you to request a selection of free leaflets. The number to take advantage of is 07786 209888. Texts are charged at standard network rates. More details can be found on our Text Service page.