Commenting on a new Audit Scotland report about reducing Scottish greenhouse gas emissions, Friends of the Earth Scotland warns that a focus on the headline costs fails to take account of the wider social and economic benefits tackling climate change will bring to Scotland's economy and people.
Francis Stuart, Friends of the Earth Scotland's Policy and Parliamentary Officer said:
"As this report makes clear, the future, long-term costs of inaction to tackle irreversible climate change will be far higher than the short-term cost of taking action now. The longer we fail to put in place the appropriate measures to prepare for, mitigate and prevent climate change, the higher the bill can be expected to be.
"What the report doesn't properly deal with is the wide range of social and economic benefits that will flow from measures to reduce emissions.
"For example, investment in making Scotland's homes and buildings more energy efficient will more than repay the initial cost by boosting the economy and creating jobs, and reducing future fuel bills and the number of people living in fuel poverty or who are ill because of damp or cold homes. Investment in walking and cycling can cut obesity rates and save money that would have been spent by the NHS treating related illnesses later down the line.
"The Scottish Government needs to get on and implement its own plans to meet our carbon emissions reduction targets, helping to create a prosperous, genuinely sustainable and socially just economy in the process. "
For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland t: 0131 243 2719
Notes to Editors
1. The Auditor General's report, "Reducing Scottish greenhouse gas emissions", is published Thursday 8 December www.audit-scotland.gov.uk
2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups - covering every continent. www.foe-scotland.org.uk