Time for Action on Climate Change

Climate March 20151128 3To mark Climate Day Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour Leader has said it’s time to deliver on Scotland’s world leading ambitions on climate change.

Our plan for a greener Scotland, includes:
·   A ban on fracking
·   Cancelling the SNP’s plan to cut air passenger duty which will lead to an annual increase in greenhouse gas emissions of 50,000 tonnes.
·    A ground-breaking Warm Homes Act to update regulations to tackle fuel poverty by driving up energy and insulation standards.

Climate change is the great challenge for our generation and the next Scottish Government must take action to tackle it now.  Newspaper reports confirm that the SNP’s manifesto will commit to a new, tougher target for reducing carbon emissions.  However, the SNP Government has missed the annual targets set in the 2009 Climate Change Act in each of the last four years.

When we supported the Climate Act Labour was successful in winning support for our amendments to strengthen the legislation to deliver early action to reduce emissions. Unfortunately, the Scottish Government’s progress has been too slow in crucial areas, such as the requirement for public sector organisations to reduce their emissions, and action on housing, transport and agriculture emissions.

The biggest progress since the Scottish Parliament was established has been on the expansion of renewables, something I’m particularly proud of as I set our first radical targets when I was Environment and Transport Minister in Donald Dewar’s first Cabinet.  However although we’ve seen significant expansion of onshore wind, we’ve yet to see big progress in community owned heat and power schemes, widespread use of solar panels for our houses and buildings and the jobs and power projected to come from marine renewables.

We need a Scottish Government not just prepared to set headline grabbing targets, but to do the hard work in making big progress in reducing emissions right across society.