Yesterday, the Scottish parliament agreed on a climate change bill that sets the toughest statutory target yet established in the industrialised world. In a rare show of unity, all political parties unanimously agreed to fix the target as part of a radical bill, which also requires the Scottish government to set legally binding annual cuts in emissions from 2012.
The legislation requires early action to cut emissions, with a target of 42% reduction in Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 against 1990 figures. This shows what is possible for advanced industrial nations like Australia and sets a precedent for other developed nations ahead of the international negotiations at Copenhagen.
This has been hailed by campaigners: some say it is ‘hugely significant’ and that it sets a new ‘moral’ standard for the rest of the industrialised world. The devil, as always, will be in the detail. Some groups are already critical of the government’s refusal to abandon road and airport expansion programs, and its plans for a new coal-fired power station. In addition, Scottish ministers only directly control about 30% of Scotland’s total annual emissions of 68m tonnes of CO_2 – most significant climate change policies are controlled in Brussels and London.
But given Australia’s tragic 5% unconditional targets, this surely must give us all some hope.
Further details at: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/campaigns/bigaskscotland/