Scotland’s catch up plan on climate change should be torn to bits – Dr Richard Dixon. As the dust settles in Glasgow and people try to digest what the COP26 outcomes actually mean, it is time to look again at how Scotland is doing. We missed three targets in a row and the 2009 Climate Act requires the Scottish Government to lay a report before the Scottish Parliament to explain how they are going to “compensate in future years for the excess emissions.” The catch up report for the latest figures, 2019, was published just before the COP. If it were a school science report it would be sent back for not showing its working out. The 15-page report covers how to catch up on missing the 2019 target by 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s the equivalent of having an extra million cars on the road or running one and a half extra gas-fired power station for the year. So a lot of catching up is needed. But the report is not for consultation and Parliament doesn’t have to do anything with it, so it could go largely unnoticed. The first remarkable thing is that there are no new policies unveiled in the catch up report. There are policies listed but they are all from the SNP manifesto, the Programme for Government or the Co-operation Agreement with the Green Party, plus a prediction that the EU Emission Trading Scheme will produce a big reduction. The Climate Change Plan was criticised by four committee of MSPs for a lack of clarity on what would happen when. This catch up plan is even worse for its lack of transparency and I hope MSPs take the opportunity to tear it to bits.
Scotsman 25th Nov 2021 read more »