sarah-boyack-msp-scottish-labour-leadership-campaign-launch-in-edinburgh-november-7-2014Sarah Boyack, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson for Environmental Justice, says despite more action being needed to tackle climate change, the SNP is cutting the amount it spends and pursuing policies which create more emissions instead.


Today concerns have been raised yet again over the Scottish Government’s plans to cut the amount of money it spends on tackling climate change.

Gathering evidence in Edinburgh, the BBC reported that the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) – an independent statutory body which advises the Scottish and UK Governments – said it would examine the reasons behind the cut.

Their latest report also highlights that greater action is needed to reduce carbon emissions and that more progress is required in areas such as transport, renewable heat, agriculture and forestry and the waste sector; something which Scottish Labour has been saying for some considerable time.

The warning from the CCC comes on top of comments made by the WWF in the Herald newspaper only last week, that the Scottish Government’s planned cut undermines its claim that it has embedded climate change in the draft budget.

The reality is that the Scottish Government could be doing far more to create a sustainable low carbon economy for the future. As it stands, only 50% of Scotland’s infrastructure pipeline could be described as low carbon. Yesterday it was revealed that public transport use is going into reverse – 6% down from 2006 and 12% for bus use. You can read the story here: Public transport use in Scotland falls.

What’s more, while the Scottish Government may have announced Energy Efficiency as a National Infrastructure Project they have yet to set an overall objective for the project, and have cut investment to tackle fuel poverty in this year’s budget by £15m.

The decision by world leaders to sign up to a low carbon future at the Paris climate talks in December provides a real opportunity to step up the speed of change. The Scottish Government must build on the summit and strengthen its commitment to tackling climate change.

Scottish Labour has proposed a Warm Homes Act to deliver regulatory change to allow Scots to make the most of the renewables potential presented by community heat networks while also tackling fuel poverty which blights communities.

In addition to this new commitment, unlike the Scottish Government we would not scrap Air Passenger Duty, a tax change which would allow up to 60,000 tonnes of CO2 to be emitted into the earth’s atmosphere and would primarily benefit the well off.

Scotland should be at the forefront of the transition to a low carbon society and environmental justice. It’s time for action not excuses from the Scottish Government.

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5 thoughts on “We need to do more to tackle climate change

  1. No, that’s correct. Scottish Labour would not cut APD to encourage flights from and to Scotland. Instead they would build an extra runway in the south of England so as to maintain Heathrow/Gatwick as hubs with the extra CO2 emmisions that would generate.
    Scots would carry on driving hundreds of miles to Manchester etc for cheaper flights. So we would have the same aircraft CO2 emmisions PLUS car journey emmisions. But there would be no extra tourism to Scotland—no extra revenue for the Scottish economy.
    Scottish Labour has a joke as a policy—-but its a joke on us.

  2. You have to laugh. Every point and argument you (Labour) bring is totally undermined by that FACT you tried your utmost to ensure we remain attached to the right wing English polity. Who have absurdly cut funding for Scotland’s renewables industry.

    You ruined it for me, you ruined it for yourself, you ruined it for your party and you ruined it for our children. You did well for your Imperial Masters. Be ashamed.

  3. And the theme of blaming UK Government imposed cuts across the UK on the Scottish Government continues. Cuts the Labour party in Westminster either fully supported or abstained on.

    Not only will Labour not admit the problems we are suffering from are a direct result of our “Union benefit” They absolutely deny their own involvement in the imposition of these deliberate ideologically forced policy directions in spite of the overwhelming evidence of their involvement.

    Its like listening to a child with a chocolate covered face continue to deny he ate chocolate.

    And these clowns want people to vote for them? Worse they actually get upset because people see right through their bullshit.

  4. If Scotland were to get to a point of zero carbon emissions and zero pollution it would affect less than 1% of the overall world emission pollution problem.

    Without US Chinese and Russian efforts in emission and pollution control it is meaningless as far as Scotland is concerned to even bother trying.

    Our air is polluted by the big boys not by us.

    Yet its the Neo Con parties in the West which supports Corporate industry Corporate pollution Corporate global environmental rape.

    Parties such as Red Tory Neo Liberal Corporate backed Labour.

    Labour have some gall trying to get on the environmental horse after their track record in Government fully supporting and approving of Nuclear and fossil fuel energy.

    There is nothing Labour can say or do that doesn’t smack of the worst kind of hypocrisy and dishonesty.

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