UK Government urged to match climate ambition with action

Climate Change Secretary sets out key asks ahead of Climate Ambition Summit.

Scotland’s Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has urged the UK Government to set out detailed new climate change policies at this weekend’s Climate Ambition Summit with the United Nations.

Calling for the UK Government to act in areas of reserved responsibility - including on energy regulation, the gas grid and new green technologies - Ms Cunningham said that action must accompany ambition if they are to show real leadership on climate change ahead of Glasgow COP26.

The Scottish Government Climate Change Plan update, due to be published this month, will set out the practical steps that will be taken to meet Scotland’s world leading climate targets. It will also set out the action urgently required of the UK Government in reserved areas.

These will include calling on the UK Government to:

  • reform the Contract for Difference mechanism to deliver specific support for wave and tidal generation as well as investment and jobs in domestic energy businesses
  • accelerate the development of negative emissions technologies, carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen as essential components of our energy system
  • accelerate demonstration of the technological solutions to cutting emissions from our homes and buildings, and in particular set out clear timescales for the future scale and pace of decarbonisation of the gas network to support decarbonisation of heat in buildings
  • update energy regulation by giving Ofgem a statutory objective to support the delivery of net zero and interim statutory greenhouse gas emissions targets and address the imbalance in pricing for electricity and gas to better incentivise zero emissions heating technologies
  • commit to a UK Emissions Trading Scheme common framework post-Brexit (which would respect the devolution settlement) and rule out implementing a reserved Carbon Emissions Tax over which devolved administrations would have no say
  • review options on fuel duty and vehicle excise duty to help reduce unsustainable travel

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“Scotland has set its own world-leading statutory 2030 target of a 75% reduction in emissions in response to the UN Paris Agreement and we have consistently been calling on the UK Government to match our level of ambition. Given the reserved nature of many key policy levers for decarbonisation, a more ambitious UK-wide approach will be critical in achieving Scotland’s goals.

“The Prime Minister’s Climate Ambition Summit this weekend provides the perfect platform for the UK Government to set out not just ambition but action including changes to the gas grid, support for offshore wind and support for the commercialisation of negative emissions technologies.

“Action is vital if the UK wants to show real leadership on climate issues and give credence to their warm words ahead of Glasgow COP26 next year. I also urge UK Ministers to rule out once and for all any suggestion that they are considering an alternative, reserved Carbon Emission Tax to replace the EU Emissions Trading System at the end of December.

“This month we will publish our updated Climate Change Plan detailing how Scotland will end our contribution to climate change and support a green recovery from COVID-19. As I have said before tackling climate change must be a shared local, national and global endeavour and those in positions of power must begin to show leadership on the most critical issue of this generation.”


The Climate Change Plan 2018-2032 update will be published this month.

Read more on Scottish Government climate change policies. 


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