Scotland politics

Party leaders in Scotland make climate change pledge

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Image caption The party leaders have promised their manifestos will be consistent with Scotland's Climate Change Act

The leaders of Scotland's five main political parties have promised to set out plans on how they will tackle climate change and reduce emissions.

An agreement was brokered by WWF Scotland ahead of the Holyrood election next year.

The organisation said the leaders had committed to providing "comprehensive plans" on climate change in their manifestos.

International talks on the issue will take place in Paris in December.

The SNP, Scottish Labour, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Green party have all signed the pledge.

It commits them to outlining plans in their manifestos to:

  • Improve energy efficiency through a "national infrastructure project"
  • Create a low carbon transport system
  • Reduce emissions from Scotland's food sector
  • Continue the work of Scotland's Climate Justice Fund

They have also promised to ensure their manifestos are "consistent" with the ambitions of Scotland's Climate Change Act.

The act requires Scotland to reduce its annual climate change emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, said it was "great to know" that Scotland was a country where politicians had "long moved on" from debating whether climate change was actually happening.

"In the run up to next May's election voters will be keen to learn how each of the political parties will use their plans for tackling climate change to create jobs, improve health and reduce inequality," he said.

Party leaders' reaction

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, SNP: "The SNP has put climate change considerations at the heart of decision making in government. Building on our record, the SNP in government will continue to support individuals, communities and industry as, together, we further reduce carbon emissions and make Scotland the best place possible to live and work."

Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour Party: "I believe in environmental justice, that the struggles for sustainability and socialism cannot be separated. That's why I have appointed an environmental justice spokesperson to my front bench team that has a wide policy brief, bringing together our climate change and energy policies."

Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservatives: "Climate change is a threat to our environment, our security and our economic prosperity. As we approach next year's Holyrood elections, we will set out our own plans for how we tackle climate change in a manner that boosts business and creates jobs."

Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrats: "Our 2016 manifesto will have social justice at its heart. Liberal Democrats want a country where people stand for and with their neighbours. At the core of our vision will be a radical agenda to tackle climate change in way which is credible, affordable and sustainable."

Patrick Harvie, Scottish Greens: "Scotland is in an amazing position to show real leadership on climate change. We can cut emissions, transform our economy and create high quality, lasting jobs by investing in energy efficient housing, renewable power and more localised economies."

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