Holyrood committee calls for urgent action on missed climate change targets

30.11.2014

The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee (RACCE) is calling for urgent steps be taken to ensure future ambitious climate change targets are not missed.

In a seven-page letter to the new Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Aileen McLeod MSP, the Committee highlights key messages, including:

  • The annual targets set out under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 should not be reduced or adjusted as this would send the wrong global message.
  • Low uptake in climate measures in agriculture must be urgently addressed, with the Committee also recommending the Government consider mandatory carbon reduction measures prior to the mid-term review of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) in 2017.
  • The Committee recommends that the Scottish Government gives careful consideration to the specific powers and responsibilities with regard to climate change which could be devolved to Scotland from the UK as part of the current considerations.
  • With huge challenges ahead in tackling Scotland’s older hard to heat and hard to treat houses, and rural and fuel poverty, the Committee is asking the Government to outline the specific action it will take.

Rob Gibson MSP, Convener of the Committee said: 

“The legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament commits Scotland to reducing emissions by at least 80% by 2050 and is world-leading in terms of ambition. 

“However that ambition has to be translated into action. It is now time to activate real change in approach and behaviour across all underperforming sectors of society, both public and private.

“At a political level, we need to ensure phrases such as ‘all Ministers are climate change Ministers’ and ‘all committees are climate change committees’ are not just words and that responsibilities are understood and taken seriously. 

“But a change in approach and behaviour across all parts of society cannot be delivered by Government alone. 

“We must support those who are not delivering as much as they can to make Scotland a world leader, and encourage them to engage and improve.”  

Background 

The letter to the Scottish Parliament’s new Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Aileen McLeod MSP can be accessed via this link.

The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee (RACCE) scrutinises policy proposals relating to rural affairs, climate change and the environment. It comes to a view after taking comprehensive evidence from, and engaging with, a wide range of stakeholders ‘on the frontline’ and applies authoritive, expert, effective and influential scrutiny to policy.  

Photographs of the Committee and Convener are available free of charge.

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