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United Kingdom

Tackling climate change is a devolved matter and the Scottish Government is committed to utilising the powers at its disposal to help transform Scotland into a low-carbon society and one able to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.

As some important policy levers, such as taxation, remain the responsibility of the UK Government, and many issues need to be tackled at the UK or European level, the Scottish Government recognises the importance of continuing to work in close partnership with the Devolved Administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland and the UK Government, particularly the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), who are responsible for co-ordinating this activity.

The Scottish Government worked with UK partners on the UK Climate Change Act which received Royal Assent on November 26, 2008. The Act set a statutory target for the UK as a whole to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050 and provides a framework for shared action.

As a key part of this long-term legal framework, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), has been created as a new expert body, to assess independently how the UK can optimally achieve its emissions reductions goals for 2020 and 2050. The Scottish Government is a co-sponsor of the Committee, alongside the UK Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

On April 22, 2009 the UK Government released a supplementary document with the Chancellor's Budget setting out decisions and draft regulations linked to the UK Climate Change Act. This includes decisions on the first set of UK carbon budgets, details of the UK 2020 target and provides copies of associated draft regulations. The setting of the first UK carbon budgets follows recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change in its December 2008 report 'Building a low-carbon economy - the UK's contribution to tackling climate change'. The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change invited Devolved Administrations to offer their views on the Committees recommendations and the attached letter is the response from the Scottish Government.