A new proposal to address climate change concerns in Scotland has been released.
Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, has published a draft Climate Change Plan (CCP) which, when implemented, will maintain Scotland’s status as a leader in climate action.
In 1990 Scotland committed to reducing carbon emissions 42 per cent by 2020.
Having reached that target in 2014, six years early, government officials and environmental organisations have drafted this new plan for further reducing Scotland’s impact on the environment.
The proposal aims to reduce carbon emissions 66 per cent by 2032, with the greatest reduction coming from the electricity sector.
Scotland intends to completely decarbonise the electricity sector by the mid 2020s and create negative emissions by the late 2020s.
The draft proposes the use of new technology, such as Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) to remove embedded carbon from the atmosphere, to achieve this goal.
Replacing unsustainable technology with low-emission alternatives is also central to the strategy, proposing that 80 per cent of domestic heat be switched to low-carbon alternatives and 40 per cent of new cars be ultra-low emission within the next 15 years.
The draft CCP encompasses the public, private and third sectors as well as individual communities.
Tom Ballantine of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, a coalition of Scottish environmental organizations, said in a press release, “Scotland passed its world-leading Climate Change Act with the support of every political party in the Scottish Parliament, and this plan needs that same kind of constructive collaboration if Scotland is to realise its climate change ambitions.”
Speaking at a visit to a secondary school last week, Ms. Cunningham urged a “collaborative approach” to combating climate change and noted that the draft CCP will “require the support of individuals, organisations and businesses across the country.”
Participation will be measured in a number of ways, including mandatory reporting of the public sector.
In 2015, Scotland passed an order requiring all public bodies on the Major Player list to submit annual environmental compliance reports to the Scottish Ministers.
This order will be relied on in the CCP as a means of holding public institutions responsible for their impact on climate change.
The CCP will also continue to make use of the Climate Challenge Fund, introduced in 2008, to finance community projects.
Already, this program has directed 75.7 million pounds from the Scottish Government into 588 individual communities.
In the same visit, Ms. Cunningham remarked, “Our proposals for further deep cuts in emissions represent a new level of ambition which will help maintain Scotland’s reputation as a climate leader within the international community.”
Image: United Nations