Scotland calls for ambitious UK climate targets

Scotland is urging the UK Government to work towards an ambitious plan to tackle climate change. Scottish Environment and Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod wrote to UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, highlighting […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Scotland is urging the UK Government to work towards an ambitious plan to tackle climate change.

Scottish Environment and Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod wrote to UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, highlighting the impact of UK policies on Scottish greenhouse gas emissions.

She is calling on Ms Rudd to make climate issues a “top priority”.

Ms McLeod said: “I am looking forward to working with Amber Rudd in the run up to the Paris climate talks and beyond. For that treaty to stand a good chance of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, the UK and the rest of the international community must match Scotland’s high climate change ambition.”

Scotland has a target of cutting  greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020 and according to Ms McLeod, the nation’s emissions levels depend “to a significant extent on policies at UK and EU level”.

She said Scotland is “paying the price for the UK’s lack of climate ambition”.

Ms McLeod added: “For example, changes made by the UK Government to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) have reduced ECO investment in energy efficiency and fuel poverty measures in Scotland by an estimated £60-70 million last year alone. In response, the Scottish Government has increased our total funding for fuel poverty and domestic energy efficiency to £94 million in 14/15 and £119 million in 15/16.

“The science is undisputable. Climate change is happening now. It is essential the UK shares Scotland’s high ambition and works with the Scottish Government to tackle this pressing issue.”

DECC said there is “absolutely no lack of ambition” in tackling climate change in the UK.

A spokesperson added: “We have already cut our emissions by 30% since 1990, we’re on track to meet our domestic carbon budgets and we led Europe to get an ambitious EU carbon plan for 2030. That leadership and ambition is more evident than ever as we push for a strong global deal in Paris later this year.”