The Scottish government has introduced amendments to its Climate Change Bill strengthening its approach to combating climate change.
The Scottish climate change proposals, including a legally binding target to reduce emissions in Scotland to net zero by 2045 and make the country carbon neutral by 2040, were adopted in response to a report published by the UK Climate Change Committee recommending new, stricter emissions targets across the UK in order to address the growing global threat of climate change. Under the new amendments, Scotland expects to cut its emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 and 90 per cent by 2040.
Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Scotland’s Secretary for Climate Change, said: “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. Having received independent, expert advice that even higher targets are now possible, and given the urgency required on this issue, I have acted immediately to set a target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions for 2045 which will see Scotland become carbon neutral by 2040.”
The devolved parliaments of Scotland and Wales, as well as the main UK parliament, have all officially declared climate emergencies, acknowledging climate change as a pressing and immediate concern which warrants urgent attention nationwide. The Scottish government noted that, in order for the Scottish climate change proposals to take full effect, the rest of the UK must follow suit in tightening emissions targets.
Ms Cunningham added: “I have been consistently clear that our targets must be ambitious, credible and responsible. We must take an evidence-based approach and balance our climate, economic and social responsibilities. We have already halved greenhouse gas emissions from Scotland while growing the economy, so we know we can do it. I am committed to meeting the most ambitious targets possible; and doing so while continuing to build an inclusive and fair economy. Every single one of us now needs to take more action – not just the Scottish Government but also all businesses, schools, communities, individuals and organisations. The UK Government must also act.”