DRIVERLESS CARS AND CLIMATE CHANGE

I’ve received a number of campaign emails seeking my views on the issue of driverless cars and climate change.

Vehicle insurance policies must be set up in a way to make it easy to facilitate automated vehicles in the future, and the recent Automated Vehicles Bill worked to ensure that this is the case. SNP MPs are, however, concerned about the potential costs to policyholders, and contention over liability between manufacturers and insurers. It is incredibly important that in the event of technological failure in an AV, it is easy for consumers to establish quickly where liability rests, and are able to make a claim as appropriate. SNP MPs have been working to ensure that the law covers these vehicles properly.

While the climate has changed at various points in history, the very real risk of the current anthropogenic climate change to render the earth uninhabitable is one it would be deeply irresponsible for governments to ignore. At present, the global loss of biodiversity is around 1000 times that of the naturally occurring background extinction rate.

To ignore such a possibility – and to allow ourselves to fall behind in the drive to lead the world on the many new technologies that are introduced in the process — and to refuse the possibility of moving beyond depending on the unsustainable use of the finite hydrocarbon resources would be criminal for a Government.

In Scotland, we are proud of our ambition on climate change and are on track to meet our challenging target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. We will also continue to press the Westminster government to include onshore wind, the lowest cost renewable energy technology, in its industrial strategy and demand an increased focus on offshore wind, tidal energy and wave power potential which, if unlocked, can support thousands more jobs and further economic growth whilst driving down our carbon emissions.

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