There is a global climate emergency and people across Scotland have been calling, rightly, for more ambition to tackle it and safeguard our planet for future generations.
In response to calls from young people, scientists and businesses across the country, the Scottish Government has accepted the independent, expert advice from the UK Climate Change Committee that going beyond our already world leading targets its possible.
Given the urgency required on this issue, the Scottish Government has lodged amendments to the Climate Change Bill to set a target for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for 2045 which will see Scotland become carbon neutral by 2040. The Scottish Government will update the Climate Change Plan within 6 months of the Bill receiving Royal Assent.
These tougher climate change proposals exceed the existing targets which were already world-leading. In addition to the net-zero target for 2045, Scotland will reduce emissions by 70% by 2030 and 90% by 2040 – the most ambitious statutory targets in the world for these years.
Scotland has already halved greenhouse gas emissions while growing the economy. The Scottish Government knows it can similarly deliver these new targets and is committed to meeting the most ambitious targets possible and doing so while continuing to build an inclusive and fair economy.
However, the Committee on Climate Change say that Scotland’s ability to meet these world-leading targets is contingent on the UK Government also accepting their advice and using the relevant policy levers that remain reserved.
A recent report by MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee report was clear that UK policy will prevent us achieving net zero. The UK Government must use its reserved powers act now to deliver for future generations
The Scottish Government is also taking bold action to ensure no new diesel or petrol cars are needed by 2032.
On these and other issues will continue to take an evidence-based approach that is informed by experts and balance our climate, economic and social responsibilities. The transition to a low carbon economy must be handled responsibly with adequate investment and that is why, for instance, the SNP has led the campaign at Westminster to invest in renewable technologies such as offshore wind rather than outdated nuclear technology.