The Scottish Government’s progress in living up to “world-leading” climate change legislation has come under fire from MSPs after annual targets were repeatedly missed.
Holyrood’s environment committee has written to new climate change minister Aileen MacLeod warning that confidence could be undermined in the flagship drive to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 after recent failures.
The Scottish Government must now look at what more can be done to meet the targets.
“Delivering ambitious reductions in emissions and making real progress requires a change in approach and behaviour across all parts of society and cannot be delivered by government alone,” Nationalist convenor Rob Gibson said in a letter to the minister.
The hard-hitting letter comes amid concerns Holyrood committees aren’t critical enough of the SNP government, with Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick even setting out plans for an overhaul of the system to give committees more bite.
Ms MacLeod is being urged to consider what more could be done to meet the country’s ambitious climate change targets. MSPs suggest more must done to get motorists to switch to electric cars, homes should be better insulated and farmers cut back on the use of environmentally unfriendly fertilisers. Members of Holyrood’s rural affairs, climate change and environment committee have also warned Ms MacLeod any reduction in the tough targets “would not send the right message globally about Scotland’s commitment”.
In June, it was revealed that Scotland had missed its target for reducing greenhouse gases for the third year in a row.
Paul Wheelhouse, the then environment minister, said that achieving the Scottish Government’s “ambitious’’ targets was “even harder than Parliament and society realised’’.