Harvie challenges Sturgeon over lack of zero carbon emissions target

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP today (24 May) used First Minister's Questions to challenge Nicola Sturgeon over her government's weak decision not to set a target of zero carbon emissions in the new Climate Change Bill.

The bill sets a target to reduce carbon emissions by 90 per cent by 2050, representing a slowdown in the current rate of action. Greens have previously called for a target of 100 per cent reduction by 2040 to keep pace, meet international climate science agreements and help create green jobs, warm homes and efficient public transport.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“The First Minister failed to explain why her government wants to slowdown action on climate emissions. This weak decision shows that the SNP must once again be forced beyond its comfort zone, and Greens will work across parliament and with the wider climate movement to do just that.

“It takes some nerve for the government to publish a bill, the first section of which is titled 'net-zero emissions target' but which then utterly fails to set a net-zero target and actually proposes slower emissions for the next twenty years than we’ve achieved in the last ten. The only way Scotland can genuinely lead the way is if we increase our ambition, set a net-zero target and drive innovation in jobs, housing and transport.

"The First Minister was keen to make comparisons with other countries, and in reality it’s clear that in countries like Sweden, New Zealand and Iceland, Greens in government are already setting net-zero targets well ahead of Scotland. 

"It’s time to step up the pace on climate change, and the Scottish Greens will once again strive for a bolder Holyrood and a greener Scotland."