News

Reaching net zero

Published: 05 May 2019 00:01

Call for immediate action on greenhouse gases.

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has written to Minister of State Claire Perry MP urging the UK Government to act immediately and legislate for a UK net-zero greenhouse gas target for 2050 at the latest.

The move comes after the recent report from the UK Committee on Climate Change stated that Scotland could achieve net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045, but also made it clear that our ambitions are contingent on the UK adopting a target for 2050 – as Scotland cannot deliver net-zero emissions by 2045 through devolved policy alone.

The Scottish Government is determined to stop contributing to climate change within a generation and acted on the advice from the Committee on Climate Change immediately by lodging amendments to the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill to set a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest.

Full text of the letter below.

This morning I have responded immediately to the UK Committee on Climate Change’s advice by lodging amendments to the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill. The amendments will mean greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland must reduce reach net-zero by 2045.

You will have noted however that the CCC say that achieving this is “contingent on the UK adopting a net-zero GHG target for 2050, given the importance of reserved UK policy levers alongside devolved action”. I invite the UK Government to act immediately and legislate for a net-zero GHG target for 2050 at the latest, and to make progress on a specific list of reserved policies, on issues referred to by the CCC, appended to this letter.

For obvious reasons I think an urgent meeting between the two of us is needed so we can agree how to collaborate and end our countries’ contribution to climate change as soon possible. I would be happy to travel to London for this meeting and I would appreciate a response as soon as possible.

I invite the UK Government to act immediately and legislate for a net-zero GHG target for 2050 at the latest, and:

1. Accelerate deployment of fully operational carbon capture utilisation and storage facilities.

2. Accelerate action to decarbonise the gas grid, and consider the balance of taxes across different heating fuels to enable affordable low-carbon heating in homes and businesses across Scotland.

3. Re-design vehicle and tax incentives to support industry and business investment in zero emission and sustainable transport choices.

4. Commit to adhering to future EU emission standards regardless of our position in relation to the EU.

5. Reduce VAT on energy efficiency improvements in homes.

6. Ensure continued support for the renewables industry.