Fri 14 May, 2021

If you want to pick the planet, you need to pick where you invest public funds, and Alok Sharma’s government is not investing in the alternatives Mark Ruskell

Alok Sharma’s comments on the COP26 climate conference are ‘hot air’ without a major rethink of the UK’s policy priorities, the Scottish Greens have said.

The UK minister, who is COP26 President-Designate, has used a speech in Scotland to call for an end to coal power ahead of the international summit.

Responding, Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell said: “Alok Sharma is right that COP26 presents an enormous opportunity for the world to step up efforts to tackle the climate emergency, but if he really wants to ‘pick the planet’, he needs to get the UK Government’s house in order before lecturing others.

“Coal is already in rapid decline and very low hanging fruit when it comes to climate policy – it drove down emissions in Scotland a decade ago, but we need to be looking beyond that now.

“Climate emissions are going up, not down, and that isn’t because of coal. The UK and Scottish governments have plenty of targets but no delivery when it comes to tackling rising traffic emissions and setting an end date for oil and gas extraction.

“If you want to pick the planet, you need to pick where you invest public funds, and Alok Sharma’s government is not investing in the alternatives. Without putting his money where his mouth his, today’s speech is nothing more than hot air.”

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