Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Scotland leads the world in fight against climate change, says SCCS


Wednesday 24th June 2009


Scotland today laid down a challenge to the rest of the world, including the UK Government, by passing the most ambitious climate change targets in the industrialised world.

The Scottish Parliament unanimously agreed to cut the country’s emissions by 42% by 2020, and at least 80% by 2050, setting the benchmark for the rest of the world at this year’s UN Climate Change summit at Copenhagen.

The outcome represents a huge victory for the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition, a diverse coalition of 70 organisations campaigning on climate change and representing around 40% of Scotland’s population.

Mike Robinson, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said:

“This is a truly momentous day. The Scottish Parliament has voted for legislation that will be held up as an example to the world ahead of climate talks in Copenhagen in December.

“At a vital time ahead of the UN’s talks to put in place an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol in Copenhagen, world governments have been set an example by Scotland which we would urge them to follow if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.”

“In particular, this presents a challenge to the UK Government. By supporting this bill, Labour MSPs at Holyrood have been much more ambitious than their government colleagues at Westminster. If the Labour Party believe it is the right thing for Scotland, it must surely be the right thing for the UK as a whole.

“Uniquely, Scotland’s targets are guided by science as opposed to political expediency. They are based on what we have to do, rather than what we feel we can do. This is a positive and rational response to a global challenge, and we are calling on governments across the world to follow suit.”

Leading elements of the bill include:

At least a 42% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (based on 1990 levels)

At least an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (based on 1990 levels)

Emissions from international aviation & shipping to be included from the start

Strong duty across the public sector to play a full part in tackling Scotland’s greenhouse gas emission.

Commitment to report annually on consumption-based emissions – note 1


1 – Consumption-based emissions are those that arise from a country’s consumption patterns, as opposed to the actual amount of greenhouse gas arising in the particular country. This means reporting will therefore include emissions relating to imported goods & services.

Notes to editors:

- Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is a diverse, growing coalition of organisations campaigning on climate change. The SCCS Coalition has 60 Scottish members, representing more than 2 million supporters (40% of the Scottish population), ranging from environment and development groups to faith organisations, trade unions, student societies, care providers and many more. For full details visit

- In December world leaders will gather in Copenhagen to agree a new UN international climate deal that will come into force when the first phase of the Kyoto treaty expires in 2012

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