George Kerevan: Scotland needs a grassroots movement to drive climate justice. On Saturday, the Common Weal think tank unveiled its detailed blueprint for tacking climate change and making Scotland carbon neutral within 25 years. Why yet another “green deal”, you might ask? Surely everyone claims to have one already, including (but not limited to) the SNP Government, the Labour Party, the incoming European Commission, Bernie Saunders and even what’s left of the Tory Cabinet. Alas, there is a wide gap between the standard political rhetoric on climate change and the palpable lack of concrete action geared to save our biosphere from extinction. For instance, Ursula von der Leyen, the new EU Commission President, has declared that her number-one priority is to make Europe “the world’s first climate-neutral continent”. Yet in June, the European Council (the EU’s political leadership) happily vetoed the idea of setting a specific year date for achieving carbon neutrality. Even in Scotland, where there is popular support for action on climate change, ambiguity rules the day. The SNP Government has courageously set the year 2045 for Scotland to be carbon net-zero. The plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030, then 90% by 2040. Taken at face value, these are the most ambitious statutory targets in the world. But these targets fly in the face of the SNP’s recent adoption of Andrew Wilson’s Growth Commission Report. Is it really possible to literally double our production – food, energy, transport, consumer goods, services – while eliminating CO2 and methane production? Can anyone in St Andrew’s House count? I’m not suggesting for one instant that the SNP Government is not fully committed to carbon neutrality. But I am saying that we desperately need detailed thinking about how this can be achieved inside the designated timeframe. And that, folks, is exactly what the new Common Weal research tries to provide. Christened the Common Home Plan, it is the world’s first fully-costed proposal for how to implement not only carbon neutrality but eliminate other serious environmental threats.
The National 11th Nov 2019 read more »
NICOLA Sturgeon has said the UK must match Scotland’s ambitions to tackle the climate crisis as the SNP calls for radical measures to be adopted by the next UK Government. As well as keeping the climate crisis on the agenda, the SNP will push for key actions, including demanding the UK meet Scotland’s target of net zero emissions by 2045. The party will also push for plans to be brought forward to move to electric vehicles. This includes calling for new tax incentives to support the transition to electric or no carbon vehicles – such as reducing or removing VAT on electric cars or bicycles. The SNP will also urge the UK Government to accelerate the deployment of fully operational carbon capture utilisation and storage facilities. It will push for a Green Energy Deal to ensure renewable energy schemes get the long-term certainty needed to support investment.
The National 11th Nov 2019 read more »
Scotsman 10th Nov 2019 read more »
Nicola Sturgeon will visit Aberdeen today to call for an initial £1 billion investment in the north of Scotland’s low carbon future. The first minister is arguing for future oil and gas tax revenues to be ring-fenced in a net-zero fund to boost the transition to a net-zero economy. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) projects that over the next five years such revenues will be worth £8.5 billion. The Scottish Government believes every penny should be ring-fenced to support long term investments in tackling the climate crisis. It and the SNP have made a clear commitment to move to net-zero climate emissions by 2045 and have challenged UK parties to match that ambition, investing the tax revenues from oil and gas in low carbon energy, transport, infrastructure and jobs. The SNP will argue that at least £1 billion of the fund should be set aside to support a just transition for areas like the north-east, Falkirk and Shetland, where the oil and gas industry is a major employer.
Energy Voice 11th Nov 2019 read more »