We must all act now to tackle climate change, says Holyrood Committee


A Holyrood Committee has welcomed Scotland’s ambition to tackle climate change but has called for greater urgency to stop global temperatures rising to dangerous levels.

This is one of the recommendations in the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s report on the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill sets a target of a 90% reduction in all greenhouse gases by 2050 and allows for a target of 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (known as a net zero target) from the baseline to be created at a future date. It also introduces more challenging interim targets, including a 66% drop by 2030 rising to 78% by 2040.

The Committee’s recommendations include:

• The Bill was drafted ahead of the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C. The Committee supports the findings of this report and agrees that a net-zero target for all greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to achieving it.
• A 90% target is challenging and a net-zero target will present further challenges but there are likely to be great opportunities. The benefits and cost savings of early action outweigh the effect of the costs of climate change.
• The Bill should reflect the most ambitious targets set out in the forthcoming advice by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The Scottish Government must give an explanation if it acts contrary to advice from the CCC.

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee Convener, Gillian Martin MSP, said:

“Our Committee welcomes the introduction of the Climate Change Bill and the opportunity to examine how Scotland can take action on global warming.

“There is no precedent in human history for the speed and scale of change needed to tackle climate change and reduce harmful emissions. We want to see greater urgency and action across all parts of Government, across the wider public and private sectors and by individuals, to deliver the transformational change needed to reach our targets.

“We’ve all seen the catastrophic damage caused by climate change all around the world, and the threat this has on people’s lives, wildlife and our natural environment. That’s why we’ve called for the Bill to reflect the most ambitious targets possible, to ensure future generations inherit a world that is healthy and sustainable.”

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