I am delighted that the Scottish Government has submitted a Climate Change (Scotland) Bill for consultation. Having an Act with specific climate emission limits for precise future dates is an essential step forward to avert catastrophic climate change. There are however several caveats that need to be added: –
- Emission targets should be made for each year in the immediate future, so that any overshoot is identified early and MSPs and MPs held to account.
- Data of emissions should be publicised within a year of the “emission year”.
- Embedded emissions, these incurred when we buy manufactured goods from abroad, should be included in the “target” and “actual emissions” figures.
- Target figures for renewable energy should be based on the needs of the UK rather than just Scotland? The potential for renewable energy in Scotland is greater than in the UK, so the amount that we must produce in Scotland should be proportionally higher than for the rest of the UK.
- As the government has so far failed in getting householders to significantly reduce home energy use, car size and use and air travel, could the government promote the formation of local Climate Action groups, run by volunteer climate change champions, where members are encouraged to reduce their carbon footprints and encouraging climate mitigating activities. This would avoid resentment at of being told what to do by the nanny state.