Almost a year after the historic Paris agreement on climate change, Scotland’s environment secretary is preparing to head to Morocco for this year’s conference – an opportunity for Scotland to shout about its aims and achievements. So what does Scotland have to shout about? One of the big achievements can be seen on the River Don in Aberdeen where an Archimedes screw provides power for the grid. The huge rotating screw that thumps its way through the water is not just unusual to see, it also provides benefits to those living alongside it. It is community-owned and generates a profit of £30,000 a year to spend locally. Earlier this year, it was confirmed that the Scottish government had met its targets for greenhouse gas emissions six years early. But below that headline figure there are areas of struggle. In transport, for example, there’s been little change since 1990. Glasgow City Council is trying to change that by installing a growing network of charging points for electric cars, but take-up is slow.
BBC 10th Nov 2016 read more »
Richard Dixon: Despite all the back slapping and tears of joy at last year’s conference, early emissions reduction is something that the Paris meeting completely failed to stimulate. (It would be churlish to mention that it was a UK Government minister who was given a key role in trying to make this happen). A new report makes clear that no UN member state is on track to deliver the promise of limiting temperature rises to 1.5ºC, and overall countries promised action adds up to a world which is a catastrophic 3ºC or more warmer. 2016 is going to be the warmest year ever recorded globally, and even at the current 1ºC of warming people are dying, livelihoods are being ruined and people are being force to become migrants. Some countries, like Japan, have already met their own targets for 2020 but refuse to do anything more for now. Scotland has also met its 2020 target, but here we are promised a new Climate Bill next year with more ambitious targets aimed at responding to the urgency of the Paris Agreement 1.5ºC pledge. No doubt we will have a lively debate about what Scotland’s fair contribution to global emissions reductions is, but the stated intent is clearly very promising. The Scottish Government is also putting the finishing touches to a new Climate Change Plan to spell out the actions that will deliver even more emissions reductions by 2020 and beyond. This is the kind of good example the international process needs.
FoE Scotland 8th Nov 2016 read more »