The UK Climate Change report released its fifth report on Scotland’s progress towards meeting emission reduction targets earlier this week.
It is a requirement of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, which sets out the targets to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 80% in 2050 relative to 1990 baseline levels.
As Spokesperson for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, I was keen to ask the First Minister what her response was to this report.
I welcome the progress the report highlights in renewable electricity and community and locally-owned energy projects (meeting the target for 500 MW of capacity five years early).
I am clear, however, that if we are to meet further targets, the Scottish Government will need to be more ambitious in other sectors. I highlighted the heaviest emitting sectors – transport, energy, housing and agriculture – which pose a serious challenge as we shift to a low carbon future. The Climate Change Plan, set to be published in draft this winter, will be another opportunity to push the Scottish Government on a new approach to hitting emissions targets, that will only get more difficult.
I was keen to ask the First Minister what assessment the Scottish Government had done of the technological advancements required, and whether she could reassure Scotland that appropriate funding and support would be provided.
The First Minister stated she would have the Environment Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, write to me with more detail on this.
You can watch my question and the First Minister’s answer below. I will continue to push the Scottish Government to be bolder and embrace the challenges and opportunities that a low carbon economy shift will bring.