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2020 must be the year for action on climate change

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An independent panel has said the next 12 months will be crucial if Scotland is set to meet its targets for cutting carbon emissions

Action within the next year is needed to ensure Scotland delivers on its promises to slash carbon emissions.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said Scotland's 2045 date for net-zero emissions was a "step-change in ambition" for the country.

A report produced by the independent body has said Scotland needs to "walk the talk" ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow next year.

The body has called for an end to the sale of new fossil fuel cars by 2030 and support for low carbon farming.

Committee chairman Lord Deben said: "Scotland has set an ambitious world-leading net-zero target of 2045. Now Scotland needs to walk the talk.

"The new legally-binding target for 2030 - a 75% reduction in emissions compared to 1990 - is extremely stretching and demands new policies that begin to work immediately. The spotlight is now on Scotland's plan to deliver meaningful reductions across all sectors of the economy."

Glasgow won the bid to host the United Nations’ 26th Conference of the Parties, known as COP26, following a partnership with Italy.

Some 30,000 delegates and 200 world leaders are expected to attend the event at Glasgow's Scottish Events Campus (SEC) at the end of next year.

The event has been described as the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015.

Tom Ballantine from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said the report made it clear that decisions taken in the next 12 months will shape the next 25 years.

“The Scottish Government must now take decisive action that will drive down emissions in the crucial next decade,” he said.

“In particular, the new Climate Change Plan must go much further than existing promises and set out how the government plans to cut emissions in transport, heating and agriculture, areas where we have so far seen little progress.

“That means measures to improve the energy efficiency of all buildings, replace oil and gas boilers with renewable heating, create a network of safe cycling and walking routes in every town and city, a strong regulatory framework that ensures the uptake of low-carbon farming practices and the creation of a farm support regime that is focused on significantly reducing emissions and maximising sequestration, and a range of other transformational measures.

“With the UN climate summit (COP26) being held in Scotland next year, all eyes will be on the Scottish Government to deliver strong climate action. The CCC is right to say that the UK’s credibility as COP26 President - and Scotland’s as hosts - ‘now rests on real action at home.’”

A Scottish Government spokesman said the global climate emergency was at the centre of its programme for government.

He said: "We recognise that even more will need to be done for Scotland to reach net-zero emissions by 2045.

"The committee's advice for the UK government is also clear - they must 'step up and match Scottish policy ambition in areas where key powers are reserved'.

"Scottish ministers have written to their UK counterparts on several occasions to call for such action."



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