Ahead of the COP26 Global Conference in Glasgow, the Scottish Government was encouraged to back up its climate emergency commitments with intervention and support.
The appeal comes after a £ 8 million share of funding to reduce carbon emissions was won by a Scottish project.
By 2045 – five years ahead of the UK – Scotland has pledged to become a carbon-neutral country. Commitment by the government – and to reduce carbon emissions by 75% of 1990 levels by 2030. Glasgow and Edinburgh have both dedicated themselves to become net-zero cities by 2030.
The Scottish government launched its late revised climate change strategy last month, which includes a commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans and to reduce the amount of miles driven by car by 20% by 2030, as well as a pledge to decarbonize scheduled flights throughout Scotland by 2040.
Scotland to become “the world’s first zero-emissions aviation region”
The Scottish Greens are calling on ministers to bring their promises into effect ahead of the November COP26 International Climate Summit in Glasgow – an opportunity for Scotland to play a leading role in solving the climate crisis.
The party looks to the budget for this year as an opportunity for the Scottish government to show its commitment to addressing the climate emergency, and has also warned against proposals to reach goals based on ‘underdeveloped technology’ such as carbon capture and storage, for which ministers have earmarked a £ 180 million fund for new energy technologies, including the production of renewable hydrogen.
The Scottish government cites cold weather for missing emissions targets.
Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green Party environmental spokesperson, said, “2021 presents a fantastic opportunity for Scotland to be at the heart of the global effort to address the climate crisis. This could be the moment when the tide finally turns on the climate crisis with Biden’s commitment to the U.S. rejoining the Paris Agreement.”
As host nations, if the COP26 conference is to be a success, the Scottish and UK governments must bring more than targets to the table. Starting this year by shifting away from fossil fuels and rethinking the construction of roads will give other countries a strong message of leadership.
SNP under criticism for ‘illusory pledges’ in the strategy for climate change
The climate change strategy of the Scottish Government has made some positive noises, but now we need to see if budget decisions reflect those commitments. We need more commitment to moving away from oil and gas and creating green employment. We just don’t have time to wait for undeveloped technology, we need to step up the pace of change this year.
“Let Scotland seize the opportunity presented by the COP conference to show real leadership in protecting our future.”
Roseanna Cunningham, Minister of the Environment, said the updated Climate Change Strategy would also help a green recovery from the pandemic of Covid 19.
“She added, “These policies and plans are taking us on a road to a fair transition to net zero. It won’t be easy on this trip. We recognize that there are variables that we are unable to govern, including technical developments and the limits of devolved authority.
“We will need to innovate to learn along the way and embrace new and exciting technologies and ideas to reap the multiple benefits that our journey to net zero has to offer. We also need the UK government to support not only our ambitions, but also our actions.”
To stop financing overseas oil and gas projects, British taxpayers
In order to find ways to minimize carbon emissions, a Scottish initiative led by an alliance of industries and experts has secured £ 8 million in support from the UK government.
Led by Neccus, an alliance of industries and experts, Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap (SNZR) will use the funding share to build a strategy that will allow competitive decarbonization.
The Acorn project by Neccus aims to establish a carbon capture and storage program for Scotland by 2024 and enable renewable hydrogen to be used on a wider scale.