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Date: 00.01 Tuesday 3 February 2009

COALITION CALLING ON PARLIAMENT TO DELIVER STRONG CLIMATE LEGISLATION

Key members from across the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition will today (Tuesday 3 February) present their evidence on the Scottish Climate Change Bill to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee (TICC).

2009 is a critical year for action on climate change with global deal negotiations in Copenhagen in December.

The Scottish Climate Change Bill has the potential to be the most important piece of legislation for a generation. However if it is to become world leading and set Scotland on the path of a green economic revival it needs to be sharpened.

SCCS, the leading coalition of environment, faith and development organisations, is calling on the Scottish Government to act now to cut dangerous carbon emissions and not delay serious reductions until 2020.

Key asks include:

  1. Set out a framework that will achieve at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  2. Establish in statute annual emission reductions of at least 3% year-on-year from the start, not just from 2020.
  3. Include all emissions in the targets in the Bill, including those from international aviation and shipping, from the very start.
  4. Establish a Scottish advisory body, a Scottish Climate Change Commission in the primary legislation, which should be established when the Bill is enacted.
  5. Set in place a statutory limit of 20% on the proportion of emissions reduction effort that can be met through the purchase of international credits. At least 80% of the effort to cut emissions should take place in Scotland.

Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland said:

"This is not just an issue for future generations but for vulnerable people across the world today who are suffering the negative effects of climate change. Government commitments for domestic action on climate change have the potential to make a real difference and show leadership to the rest of the world but annual emission reductions of at least 3% year-on-year need to kick in right from the start."

Dave Watson from Unison

"The fact that UNISONScotland is represented in this discussion shows the breadth of support for strong action by the Scottish Government on climate change. In particular, the public sector must be given a key leadership role and made accountable for it.

"Also, there are so many crucial differences between the Scottish and UK contexts that an independent Scottish Climate Change Commission is essential."

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland said:

"2009 is a make or break year for agreeing a new international deal on climate change. Scotland could have a huge influence on the rest of the world by setting really tough targets and including all international aviation and shipping emissions from the start."

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

  1. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is a diverse, growing coalition of organisations campaigning on climate change. The SCCS Coalition has 30 Scottish members, representing more than 1.5 million supporters, ranging from environment and development groups to faith organisations, trade unions, student societies, care providers and many more. For full details visit http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/scotland
  1. SCCS will be holding a Climate Change Rally in April 2009. All coalition members and their supporters are being encouraged to spring into action for a strong Scottish Climate Change Bill. We will be gathering to lobby MSPs outside the Scottish Parliament, from 11am 2pm, on Wednesday 22nd April 2009. For further details of the rally contact SCCS Co-ordinator Gail Wilson (contact details above)

3. The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition Scotland priorities for the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill are that it must:

  • Set out a framework that will achieve at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • Establish in statute annual emission reductions of at least 3% year-on-year from the start, not just from 2020.
  • Include all emissions in the targets in the Bill, including those from international aviation and shipping, from the very start.
  • Establish a Scottish advisory body, a Scottish Climate Change Commission in the primary legislation, which should be established when the Bill is enacted.
  • Set in place a statutory limit of 20% on the proportion of
    emissions reduction effort that can be met through the purchase of international credits. At least 80% of the effort to cut emissions should take place in Scotland.
  • Establish duties on all public bodies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in line with the national target.
  • Set in place robust, transparent reporting measures so the Scottish Parliament is well informed on progress in meeting targets and Government is held to account.
  • Ensure that strong enforcement measures are set in place in statute.
  • Scotland counts all its emissions, including those produced by products and services we consume.
  • Be explicit that sustainable development is key to the intention and delivery of the statute.

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