Scotland

MSPs say climate change plans 'must be clearer'

climate change protest Image copyright Getty Images

Clearer plans are needed on how climate change will be tackled, according to Holyrood's environment committee.

It says the Scottish government needs "well-defined plans" on achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as part of its Climate Change Bill.

The Scottish government has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, five years ahead of the UK as a whole.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also declared a "climate emergency".

The environment committee carried out a review as the Climate Change Bill is about to enter its second stage at Holyrood.

It followed net-zero recommendations from the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) - which, so far, only Scotland has acted on.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Scottish government's plans for net-zero emissions are five years ahead of the UK as a whole

The committee backed the Scottish government's commitment but said there still needed to be a raised level of ambition across all sectors.

Committee convener Gillian Martin said: "The climate emergency is real and the stark fact is that we have to take urgent action in the short term in order to address global warming.

"Our committee welcomes the Scottish government's swift response to the CCC's report and the commitment that Scotland will play its part in tackling it.

"While the targets are challenging we need to focus on the opportunities and benefits of early action and we need to support those most impacted in making the transition.

"This is why we have called for a higher level of ambition across all sectors and for clearer plans to be put in place for every sector so we ensure that our generation can address the catastrophic harm being done to our natural environment."

'Difficult decisions'

The Scottish government welcomed the committee's report and said it hopes to build on its support for the difficult decisions needed to meet the targets.

A spokesman said: "There is a global climate emergency and the Scottish Government is acting accordingly.

"We acted immediately on the recent advice of our independent scientific advisors, the UK Committee on Climate Change, by lodging amendments to our Climate Change Bill that set a net-zero target for 2045.

"Our proposals are the most ambitious statutory targets anywhere in the world and would mean that Scotland's contribution to climate change will end, definitively, within a generation."