Coalition parties to join SNP climate climbdown today

For immediate release 7 October 2010

The Lib Dems are today expected to join their Conservative colleagues and SNP Ministers in voting for new and inadequate climate targets today. The regulations proposed today would see climate emissions reduced by an average of just over 0.25% per annum over the next three years. These represent an improvement on the original targets proposed in May, but still do not come close to the reductions the science requires, nor are they even a tenth of the way towards the SNP's 2007 manifesto pledge.

The vote on revised annual climate targets today follows the rejection of SNP Ministers' first proposals both in Committee and in the Chamber. The failure of the Scottish Government to bring forward measures that Parliament could support means Ministers have been in breach of the Climate Change Act since June.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Labour and the Lib Dems joined the Greens in May to vote down SNP Ministers' inadequate climate targets, and we have seen some limited movement as a result. If the opposition parties had stuck together we could have achieved real change and passed the kind of targets that could have really helped build a successful low carbon Scotland. Unfortunately, the Lib Dems have settled for marginal change and compromise, perhaps because their UK Ministers are terrified of trying to deliver action on climate change too.

"Today's vote will bring some benefits, and many of the mechanisms in the Climate Change Act will come into force as a result, but Parliament should never have been placed in this position. These SNP proposals for the next three years are less than a tenth as tough as their manifesto pledged, which is simply unforgivable. Salmond and his colleagues should be ashamed of their record of failure on the environment, and the Tory/Lib Dem coalition should be ashamed to have backed them."

The regulations to be voted on today propose the following annual targets:
2010: 0% (i.e. no change at all)
2011: -0.5%
2012: -0.3%

Page 29 of the SNP manifesto stated: "In government we will introduce a Climate Change Bill with mandatory carbon reduction targets of 3% per annum and also set a long-term target of cutting emissions by a minimum of 80% by 2050 – above the UK target of 60%."