Date: 5th August 2009
From Stop Climate Chaos Scotland
QUEEN APPROVES SCOTLANDíS WORLD-LEADING
CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II today made
history by giving Royal Assent to The Scottish Climate Change
Bill, the strongest piece of climate change legislation in the
The world-leading Act sets vital international
precedents and an example for other wealthy nations to follow
ahead of the UNís climate change talks in Copenhagen in December,
which will agree a replacement to the Kyoto Protocol.
The new legislation enshrines in law Scotlandís
obligation to reduce the countryís greenhouse gas emissions by
at least 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. Other rich
countries need to adopt similar cuts to their emissions if catastrophic
climate change is to be averted.
Queen Elizabeth signed the historic Act during
a visit to her estate in Balmoral in Scotland. The Climate Change
(Scotland) Bill was unanimously voted through the Scottish Parliament
on 24th June this year.
Leading elements of the Scottish Act include:
- At least a 42% cut in greenhouse gas emissions
by 2020 (based on 1990 levels)
- At least an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions
by 2050 (based on 1990 levels)
- Emissions from international aviation &
shipping included from the start;
- Commitment to report annually on consumption-based
- Strong duty across the public sector to
play a full part in tackling Scotlandís greenhouse gas emissions.
Cardinal Keith OíBrien, Scotlandís most
senior Catholic clergyman and climate change campaigner said:
"Scotland is setting a crucial example
to the rich countries of the world in efforts to prevent
the unnecessary suffering of millions of innocent people
through ever-worsening climate change. The scientific
consensus is clear; unless rich nations make early and deep cuts
to their emissions, as Scotland has agreed to do, the situation
will get much worse.
"Wealthy countries have an unequivocal
moral duty to reduce their own emissions and help developing
countries who are already suffering the consequences of our profligate
use of fossil fuels for economic gain.
"Scotland has had the courage to set
a vital international precedent with its Climate Change (Scotland)
Act. Others must follow this lead now if we are to have
a long, safe, and prosperous future for humanity on earth."
Stewart Stevenson, Minister
for Climate Change in the Scottish Government, said:
"The Scottish Government recognises that
climate change will have far reaching effects on Scotland's economy,
its people and its environment and is determined to play its part
in rising to this challenge.
"The world-leading legislation introduces
targets to reduce emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050, and
will drive new thinking, new solutions and new technologies putting
Scotland at the forefront of building a sustainable low carbon
Mike Robinson, chair of the Stop Climate
Chaos Scotland coalition, which includes Oxfam, Christian Aid,
SCIAF, WWF, Friends of the Earth, as well faith organisations
and trade unions, said:
"It is now enshrined in law that Scotland
will do its fair share to tackle the causes of climate change.
The world-leading emissions reduction targets provide a vital
lead to other wealthy nations ahead of the UNís climate talks
in Copenhagen in December. Other rich countries must now follow
Scotlandís lead and match the commitment to cut their emissions.
I hope they will sit up and take notice.
"The scientific consensus is clear: unless
developed nations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at
least 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 the problem
of dangerous climate change will become irreversible."
Notes to editors:
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is a diverse,
growing coalition of organisations campaigning on climate change.
The SCCS Coalition has 60 Scottish members, representing more
than 2 million supporters (40% of the Scottish population), ranging
from environment and development groups to faith organisations,
trade unions, student societies, care providers and many more.
SCCS was instrumental in securing a strong climate act for Scotland.
For full details visit http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/scotland
In December world leaders will gather in Copenhagen
to agree a new UN international climate deal that will come into
force when the first phase of the Kyoto treaty expires in 2012.
For more info see http://en.cop15.dk/
For more info on how the Scottish Act can
make a difference in Copenhagen, see http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/scotland
On Saturday December 5, tens of thousands
of people will gather in Glasgow and London to call for action
on climate change. For more info see http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/scotland
UNISON Scotland news releases: Stay in touch with UNISON
Scotland's latest news releases on our website http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/news/index.html
and frequent updates on our blog http://unison-scotland.blogspot.com/