Commenting on the UK Climate Change Committee's (UKCCC) advice to the Scottish Government on its plans for a new Climate Bill, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:
"The UKCCC's advice is bitterly disappointing, lacking both urgency and ambition in its proposed approach to new climate legislation for Scotland. Effectively the Committee has said don't bother trying to do more before 2030 and just try a little harder for 2050, letting this generation of politicians off the hook and kicking serious climate action into the long grass.
"This in no way lives up the SNP's promise of increased ambition and does nothing for the millions of people whose lives literally depend on the 1.5 degree target enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Scotland can and should go further than existing targets and should be aiming for zero emissions by 2040 at the latest.
"The effects of warming at only 1oC are already devastating with the World Meteorological Organisation warning only yesterday that we have entered 'truly uncharted territory' due to rising temperatures. Failure to raise the ambition in our climate laws and action is tantamount to acceptance of death and disaster for millions of the people around the world.
"The Scottish Government has already committed to a new climate law with tougher targets to reflect the scientific and political consensus that 1.5oC warming would be catastrophic for countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
"We urge the Scottish Government to stand by its commitment to reflect the ambition of the Paris Agreement in its new climate law, go well beyond the advice of the UKCCC and commit to targets that reflect a fair share of the global effort to tackle climate change."
1. The UKCCC report is available at: https://www.theccc.org.uk/
2. The UKCCC has recommended two options for a 2050 target, the first of which would keep the existing target of 80% by 2050 and review with a view to increasing, the second of which proposes a stretch target of 90% by 2050.
The Committee also proposes interim targets of 56% by 2020 and 66% by 2030 both of which reflect the ambition in existing legislation and therefore fail to reflect the increased ambition of the Paris Agreement to aim to limit warming to no more than 1.5oC.
3. Friends of the Earth Scotland's view is that a target of 100% GHG reduction by 2040 is essential to do our fair share of the global effort to limit warming to 1.5oC. Our evidence to the UKCCC on the new Scotland's new climate targets is at: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/node/2234
4. 'Record-breaking climate change pushes world into ‘uncharted territory’' says
World Meteorological Organisation https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/21/record-breaking-climate-change-world-uncharted-territory
5. 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, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.