Scotland To Ditch Ambitious Climate Change Target: REPORT

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John Oyewale Contributor
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The Scottish government is expected Thursday to walk back its ambitious climate change target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% in six years, according to reports.

Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy Màiri Louise McAllan is expected to announce that the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) can no longer achieve the goal, The Times reported. This follows the publication of a citizens’ panel report last Thursday which found that the government’s communication on climate change has been subpar and recommended compulsory climate change education in schools, among other measures.

Earlier, in March, the U.K.’s climate watchdog, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) released a statement in which the CCC said it “no longer believes that the Scottish Government will meet its statutory 2030 goal to reduce emissions by 75%.”

“The Scottish government delayed its draft Climate Change Plan last year despite the 2030 target only being six years away,” ran the statement, in part. “This has left a significant period without sufficient actions or policies to reach the target; the required acceleration in emissions reduction in Scotland is now beyond what is credible.”

The government had missed its annual climate target eight times in the past 12 years, according to the statement.

The Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Net Zero, Energy & Transport Committee, Edward Mountain, called the statement “a reality check,” called for “drastic measures” to reach the Net Zero goal, and said the Scottish government must “lead from the front” and “present, as soon as possible, a coherent and practical delivery plan.” (RELATED: Dems, Media Push New Study Linking Climate Change To Inflation, But Economists Aren’t Buying It)

The expected announcement may come across as embarrassing for the SNP and its partner, the Scottish Greens, according to the BBC. Both parties forged a “genuinely ground-breaking” agreement in Aug. 2021 under the then-First Minister Nicola Sturgeon which entailed pursuing climate justice and the transition to net zero emissions, among other things.

Two years before the agreement, Scotland had passed its Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act, an amendment of its Climate Change (Scotland) Act of 2009, according to a government statement. The legislation set Scotland’s net zero target date at 2045, ahead of the U.K. and many other countries, with a 75% reduction to be achieved in 2030 and a 90% reduction to be achieved in 2040, according to the statement.

Scotland passed the legislation against the background of the height of the school climate strikes and a groundswell of support for the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg‘s campaign, the BBC report noted.

Sturgeon’s government was the first in the world to declare a climate emergency, and Scotland hosted the COP26 Summit, according to the BBC.