Nicola Sturgeon: ‘The climate emergency has not gone away’. Today marks the final day of Scotland’s Climate Week 2020 – an important opportunity to pause and reflect on our efforts to tackle the global climate emergency, writes First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. We are committed to a ‘green recovery’ from Covid-19 in which we capture the potential opportunities of our transition to net-zero including in green jobs, business growth and wellbeing. It is an approach that is fundamentally important to the future prosperity of our people and planet. Scotland’s emissions reduction targets are world-leading. So too is our legislative commitment to a Just Transition – in which the benefits of decarbonisation are shared and no one is left behind. We are already taking action to deliver a green recovery which has fairness at its heart. We recently announced groundbreaking plans to invest nearly £1.6 billion in transforming heat and energy efficiency of buildings – rapidly accelerating the decarbonisation of an area which makes up a quarter of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. This five-year investment programme will support thousands of jobs, as well as making a significant impact on reducing emissions and helping to remove poor energy efficiency as a driver of fuel poverty. Next week, both myself and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham will be taking part in New York Climate Week– virtually, of course. It will be an opportunity to pursue and develop our green recovery agenda with our global partners and particularly within the Under2 Coalition, a group of more than 220 governments representing over 1.3 billion people and 43 per cent of the global economy.
Scotsman 20th Sept 2020 read more »
Environmentalists have urged Scottish ministers to abandon pursuit of a controversial “green” energy plan that they argue is flawed and could undermine efforts to tackle climate change. Friends of the Earth, the Woodland Trust and RSPB are raising “grave concerns” that Scotland is being placed in the vanguard of a biomass technology that “seriously disrupts” forest ecosystems and the communities and wildlife they support. Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) produces electricity by burning trees and locks away carbon emissions deep underground, preventing release of the greenhouse gas into the environment. The UK committee on climate change has suggested Scotland could supply about a third of all UK biomass and would be an ideal location for the technology, which was first mooted in a 1998 book published by the UN’s University Press and has been backed by several scientists. Now 17 environmentalists have signed a letter to Scottish climate change minister Roseanna Cunningham expressing “deep concern” that BECCS could form part of climate change strategy. An updated plan was due to be laid in parliament in April but was postponed because of the pandemic. They insist the technology is unproven and warn that forest ecosystems that are logged may never recover. Pointing to the Drax Power Station in Yorkshire, the UK’s biggest biomass burner, they argue that it has failed “in sequestering any carbon so far” and that a shortage of wood in the UK means pellets made from forests in the US and Baltic states have to be imported.
Times 20th Sept 2020 read more »