Climate Plan shows Scot Gov have given up on walking & cycling, and reducing pollution from farming

Scottish Green MSPs say that the draft Climate Plan published by the Scottish Government shows that ministers have given up on key issues such as increasing walking and cycling, and reducing pollution from farming. Four Holyrood committees have today (10 March) published reports criticising the draft plan.

Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP, a member of Holyrood's Environment Committee, said:

"This plan is supposed to set out credible policies and funding for measures to reduce climate change emissions. Sadly, it is utterly lacking in detail and appears to give up on key issues that we need to progress. "The plan bizarrely assumes even more traffic on our roads, with ministers pinning hopes on a magical overnight switch to electric vehicles. They seem to have given up on investing in safer streets for walking and cycling, and in public transport. "There's also no effort to enforce sustainable land use, despite the warnings from experts that agriculture is about to overtake energy as the biggest source of our climate emissions. "The Scottish Government like to trumpet Scotland's world-leading climate targets but action and funding is what counts."

Scottish Greens housing and land reform spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP, a member of Holyrood's Economy and Local Government Committees, said:

"It's a concern that the residential sector is expected to achieve huge reductions in emissions while much less is expected of transport and agriculture. The Scottish Government is also overly reliant on as-yet-unproven technologies, particularly in finding low-carbon heat solutions."

Scottish Greens transport spokesperson John Finnie MSP, a member of Holyrood's Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee, said:

“This is a major document which merits detailed Parliamentary scrutiny which present arrangements cannot meet. The REC Committee has called for a review of the timeframe, suggesting ‘at least 120 days are allowed to ensure thorough scrutiny’. “Scrutiny is further hampered because, unlike previous Plans, the draft does not include baseline data or details of specific emission reductions for each policy or proposal. ‘SMART’ targets would have aided scrutiny. “Committee heard stakeholders are unconvinced by assumptions vehicle traffic will grow by 27% by 2030. The Minister’s explanation of the figure ’lacked clarity’. It's disappointing that increasing bus patronage does not feature in the plan.”