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Stiop Climate Chaos Scotland Press release Tuesday 9 June

CLIMATE CAMPAIGNERS WELCOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY MEASURES IN CLIMATE CHANGE BILL

Scottish campaigners representing over 1.5 million people across Scotland have welcomed amendments to deliver greater energy efficiency which have been approved by the Scottish Parliament committee scrutinising the Climate Change Bill today [1].

Amongst the amendments approved, were several put forward by Sarah Boyack MSP which will allow householders to receive discounts of up to £250 on their Council Tax bill if they install insulation or small-scale renewables. This measure was approved by MSPs on the committee by five votes in favour to three against. [2]

Speaking after the vote, Mike Robinson, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said: “Achieving greater energy efficiency in Scotland is the first step on the road to a safe climate future. If we are to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland by 80% by 2050 greater energy efficiency is a vital part of achieving this.

“Whilst we welcome these and other measures included in the Bill, the low target of cutting greenhouse gases by only 34% by 2020 – only 2% higher than current trends - is still a real concern. The scientific community is telling us that cuts of at least 42% are needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. With the potential for further amendments to be made to strengthen the Bill it is not too late for our MSPs to take the action that is needed.”

Chas Booth from the Association for the Conservation of Energy, a member of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland [3], added, “Energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest and easiest way to cut carbon emissions, and also has the benefit of cutting people’s fuel bills too. Sarah Boyack’s amendment is an excellent example of using incentives to encourage energy saving behaviour, and we’re delighted the committee has backed her proposals today.”

Other energy efficiency amendments approved by MSPs today include a requirement for the Scottish Government to set tough energy efficiency standards for its own offices; a requirement to remove planning red tape from small-scale renewable installations and powers to local authorities to tackle energy wasted in tenements.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

[1] A full list of amendments debated at the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee is available on the Scottish Parliament website: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/bills/17-ClimateChange/index.htm

[2] On amendments 259, 261 and 263 in the name of Sarah Boyack MSP, there voted: Yes: Patrick Harvie (Green) Cathy Peattie (Labour) Charlie Gordon (Labour) Des McNulty (Labour) Alison McInnes (Liberal Democrat) No: Rob Gibson (SNP) Shirley-Anne Somerville (SNP) Alex Johnstone (Conservative)

[3] Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is a diverse, growing coalition of organisations campaigning on climate change. The SCCS Coalition has 40 Scottish members, representing more than 1.5 million supporters, ranging from environment and development groups to faith organisations, trade unions, student societies, care providers and many more. For full details visit www.stopclimatechaos.org/scotland.

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